I’ll be honest, until I’d started working for SBS, I’d never tried SBS On Demand.
I assumed the site was just a catch-up service for the news, the soccer and Go Back to Where You Came From.
All those things are there – so you can definitely get your Lee Lin Chin World News fix – but so are hundreds of hours of other movies and full TV series.
It’s actually much more like Stan, Presto and Netflix (except it’s totally free).
I first went to the site to catch Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, where the former Daily Show correspondent smashes political satire like John Oliver on Last Week Tonight.
But the On Demand peeps who – full disclosure – work just down the hall from me, have been sifting through thousands of hours of content from around the world and buying the rights so Australians can access them for free.
Nice work if you can get it.
On Demand has a range of complete TV seasons. From the Irish true-crime drama The Secret, to the French dystopian Trapalium, to the British family comedy Raised by Wolves, to Nordic crime drama Trapped, and the sci-fi robots of Real Humans.
There are 31 LGBTI feature films from Australia and around the world, 60 action films (including Sharknado and The Raid) and 128 comedy films (Including UK political satire In the Loop and the USA’s Safety Not Guaranteed).
Spoiler alert, On Demand is also very SBS, so there are tonnes of foreign language films. You can get browse through French films and Cannes winners, or switch over to something a little more hardcore (the sort of stuff you’d sneak out to watch on SBS late at night when you were a teenager).
I'm painfully aware that I sound like a corporate shill, but when you discover how much stuff On Demand actually has, and how amazingly and completely free it is, you just feel an uncontainable urge to tell people about it.