But even that figure is misleading, in the sense that it obscures the degree to which younger audiences are simply not watching linear television.
Of the 65,000 people who watched on Tuesday, just 17,000 were aged 25-54. In the 16-39 demographic, a mere 7000 tuned in.
The broadcaster insists, however, that The Feed continues to resonate with younger audiences outside of the linear broadcast schedule, particularly with its comedy sketches featuring Jenna Owen and Vic Zerbst. Those would, it promised, continue to be produced, alongside other short-form video content and explainers.
Presenter Marc Fennell, who has been with the program since its inception in 2013, sought to put a positive spin on the move.
“If you look back over the life of the show it has constantly changed in format,” he said. “This is a big change, to be sure, but there are some essential components that will not change.”
Among those components, he said, was the “unofficial mission” of the brand to develop young, diverse, unique Australian voices in journalism and comedy.
“Today, I look out over the wider media landscape and see The Feed ‘s alumni pretty much everywhere. ”
Since its launch nine years ago as a 15-minute segment on SBS2, The Feed has given opportunities to the likes of Andy Park (now the Drive presenter on ABC Radio National), Jan Fran (podcaster, columnist and serial guest across the TV networks), Mark Humphries (resident 7.30 satirist), Triple J presents Michael Hing and The Project‘s Patrick Abboud.
Fennell said the new iteration of The Feed “Will still foster new voices”, while promising the Framed unit – to which he is moving – “will allow us to… really dive into stories far bigger and more intriguing than we could fit into a 30-minute program.