With powerful dramas like Aziz and The Girl of the Green Valley, and the innovative series under the “New Generation Turkish Titles” umbrella, Inter Medya looks forward to having an excellent 2022, solidifying its role as a big-time Turkish content distributor and also its newer one as a high-quality series co-producer.
The new edition of Miptv 2022 finds Inter Medya going through a growth-spur, thanks to the company’s expansion of its role as a producer with the launch of Inter Productions, an arm that will amplify the Turkish distributor’s previous forays –they have already produced shows like The Power of Love and series like Respect and Behzat Ç – by forming a dedicated company with a focus on co-producing, both locally and internationally.
This will change the game for Inter Medya, which had already innovated with a catalogue of premium short series, named “New Generation Turkish Series”, where buyers could find miniseries that included, but were not limited to, Inter Medya’s productions.
While traditional Turkish dramas are still a huge part of the business for Inter Medya, these shorter titles have started to open new opportunities for the sales team all over the world, particularly to answer the needs of streaming platforms.
“We have established Inter Productions with the main aim of producing high quality content for OTT platforms rather than linear TV,” explains Pelin Koray, Sales Executive for Global OTT Platforms at Inter Medya. “In that sense, our focus is mostly on ‘New Generation Turkish Series’, as the OTT viewers prefer to watch fast paced and edgier stories composed of eight to ten episodes rather than long running traditional Turkish dramas.”
Koray, who also oversees sales in territories like Asia, Poland, Germany, Austria, Greece and Israel, believes that these shorter titles will facilitate the company’s growth in markets like Germany, the UK, US and Canada: “High dubbing cost is one of the main reasons that prevents buyers from licensing long running dramas and miniseries are less costly to invest in.”
And once one type of Turkish content proves its worth, others follow. That is the case in Japan, where miniseries, period dramas and feature films are becoming more sought-after.
Traditional dramas, meanwhile, aren’t slowing down either, and the success in Spain seems ready to spread to other countries in Western Europe: “I believe that Italy and France will follow suit; France is currently airing Turkish series. The interest and demand has increased in the past two years so hopefully from there we can hope to reach Western European countries”, says Sibel Levendoğlu, Sales Executive for Africa, Western Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia.
And when it come to new markets, there is a big one that might be ready to jump into the fray: “The US is very curious to say the least,” comments Levendoğlu. “They want to try and see the results so they are very open to broadcasting Turkish content and giving it a chance. We need to insist more and reach more platforms and broadcasters but we do believe that our content will be a good fit for the US audience.”
Old partners are also evolving
All this talk about new markets doesn’t take away from familiar territories, those that have formed the backbone of Inter Medya’s success during these three decades –Can Okan’s company is turning 30 in 2022- like the ones in MENA or Central and Eastern Europe.
“For over a decade the Middle Eastern viewer has been used to finding at least one Turkish title on TV available to watch, and now we can say that Turkish content is also penetrating the paid platforms,” points out Ruba Zeitouni, Sales Executive for MENA. “In the region the interest is already quite high, but we can still say that we are experiencing an improvement on the demand for our contents”.
Something similar happens in Central and Eastern Europe, where Turkish content is king. “Turkish content is leading the market, with our series reaching almost every country,” says Sinem Alışkan, Sales Executive for the region. “Our series’ success helps us open new doors. For example, the success of The Ambassador’s Daughter has opened doors to Czech Republic and we are about to close a deal there.”
In both regions, so used to traditional Turkish dramas, with a length of well over 100 episodes each, the “New Generation Turish Series” adoption has been gradual, but it’s steadily increasing the more digital that consumers and broadcasters become. “Because the world is becoming more digital and every channel [in Central and Eastern Europe] started to launch their own OTT platforms, we are planning to promote our ‘New Generation Turkish Series’ like Respect, Interrupted and Deep, together with our feature films,” comments Alışkan.
“Aziz has something for everyone”
Inter Medya arrives in Cannes with a content premiered in 2022 as its main title: Aziz. The O3 Drama production is “one of the best performing series of the season,” points out Beatriz Cea Okan, VP and Head of Sales and Acquisitions. The show, a period drama set in the 1930s, follows the story of a man’s liberation of his people and his true love. “The series has a sincere and warm narration,” comments Cea Okan. “Aziz has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a period piece, a drama, a romance, and even some action. It distinguishes itself with an outstanding production quality and an original plot.”
Another fresh title comes in the form of The Girl of the Green Valley, a series inspired by the book Ann of Green Gables, by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. “The Girl of the Green Valley tells her story of becoming a young girl and then a woman,” explains the executive. “Its emotional scenes will make an indelible impression on audiences. I believe it has a great potential in the international market”. Both shows lead a stellar catalogue that also includes dramas like The Trusted, Last Summer, Scorpion and many others.
From the “New Generation Turkish Series” catalogue, buyers will be able to acquire titles like Deep and the second season of Respect. “Recently, we have added also a fresh ‘New Generation Turkish Series’ to our library, Chickpeas and Rice. “Our slate is getting bigger each day!” exclaims Cea Okan.