SBS goes desi with PopDesi


Indian community is the largest growing community in Australia as over 13 per cent of skilled migrants came from India as the current Census results say. And Indian community is the one which has always been asking for more air time on SBS radio. To fulfill the rising demand SBS has launched a new digital radio station for the growing multicultural youth market that loves Bollywood and bhangra music.

The 24/7 SBS PopDesi will offer the audience a chance to explore the best of South Asia’s popular culture with a heady mix of the freshest Bollywood hits, the biggest Bhangra tracks, the smoothest Indian RnB and the hottest urban Desi beats.

The launch of SBS PopDesi follows the huge success of SBS’s first digital radio station for multicultural Australians, SBS PopAsia. SBS PopAsia receives 250,000 streaming requests per month and has 41,000 ”˜likes’, making it the most popular Australian digital radio station on Facebook.

SBS PopDesi and SBS PopAsia are available on digital radio, online and via dedicated mobile apps.

SBS Director Audio Language & Content Mandi Wicks said: “The success of our first digital radio station, SBS PopAsia, proved to us that there is demand for multicultural music content for young Australians.”

Mandi Wicks, SBS Director Audio Language & Content


“We have launched SBS PopDesi so that fans can access their favourite South Asian music wherever or whenever they choose. Listeners can tune in online or via their mobile. The mobile app features on-demand streaming 24/7 and interact as you listen features. So, no matter where you are, you can request your favourite track or buy the song you just heard. Social media is at the heart of the new station too ”“ fan requests on Facebook and Twitter help to inform the music we play.”

SBS PopDesi and SBS PopAsia are produced locally by SBS, engaging the interests and passions of 15-30 year old Australians.

SBS PopDesi will play all the biggest hits and charting pop direct from South Asia. New music will be added to the playlists every week, sourced from world charts and listeners’ requests.

Key artists for SBS PopDesi include Pritam, Rishie Rich, Miss Pooja, Imran Khan, PBN, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Tigerstyle and Panjabi MC.

Statistics from the 2011 Census indicate the potential demand for SBS PopDesi:

Indian languages spoken at home have seen huge growth, including a 208% increase in Punjabi speakers and a 188% increase in Gujarati speakers since the last Census in 2006;

When combined, the figures show an 89% increase in the number of Indian language speakers since 2006, with a total of 393,541 speakers.


Future plans for SBS PopDesi also include daily music and culture blogs and interactive Top 10 chart shows, similar to SBS PopAsia’s popular Top 8 countdown.

SBS this week has also launched SBS PopAraby, bringing the biggest and best of the modern Arabic Pop music scene to Australia, reflecting Arabic youth culture’s massive reach around the world.

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