News February 14, 2019

“Music is part of the show’s DNA”: The Feed on SBS returns tonight with format change and expanded coverage of music

“Music is part of the show’s DNA”: The Feed on SBS returns tonight with format change and expanded coverage of music

SBS Viceland’s current affairs program The Feed returns today with a new format.

It’s moved from daily to weekly with more online content to “reach digital audiences with greater immediacy and when they most want it”.

The news team includes Marc Fennell, Jan Fran, Laura Murphy-Oates, Patrick Abboud, Michael Hing and Marty Smiley.

Live music will play a greater role from this season, with sets (mostly unplugged) and interviews conducted by Fennell.

Conrad Sewell will perform ‘Love Me Anyway’ on tonight’s show.

Coming up are Dean Lewis, Yungblud and Julia Jacklin.

TMN spoke to executive producer Mike Clay about the refocus on live music.

Q: What’s the core demographic of ‘The Feed’?

A: “We have two audiences, a younger one on digital and  the somewhat older audience on broadcast.

“We have a broad audience, broader than under 30 or under 40, and I think that will continue.

“The target audience is 16—39 but in reality it’s higher.”

Q: Presumably you did some audience research before the format change. What do your viewers want from the music component?

A: “Music has been highly successful for us in the last year. So music is part of the show’s DNA.

“We were finding that the interviews Marc was doing were reaching a broader audience than the act’s hardcore fans.

“They’re very discerning.”

Q: What do the want out of interviews? ‘Hello, I’m here to talk about my fabulous new record?’

A: “They want to know who they are as a person, what drives them, their influences and how that has flown into what they do, regardless of whether they are an actor or writer or musician.

“Our interviews have never been about ‘tell me about the new record’.

“They’ve always been about something that is crucial to that person.

“We do that because you get a broader audience than the fan-base for that artist, because the reaction is ‘I really like that person. And I’d like to know where they’ve been.’

“Not every artist is appropriate for an interview in that way, and not every artist wants to do an interview in that way.

Q: What extra music content will we get online?

A: “Over the next few weeks we’ll be experimenting with form and format because there is a demand for extra digital content.

“We don’t want it (digital content) to come across as an after-thought, something that wasn’t good enough to put on television.

“But the online content will be extra information from artists that wasn’t part of the sit-down experience, like a rapid-fire series of questions that we ask every single artist.”

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