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World Screen Weekly
SPI INTERNATIONAL

August 5, 2021

In this week's edition:
• Kanal D International’s Ekin Koyuncu

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In the news

The gap between OTT and pay TV is widening in the U.S., with 82 percent of U.S. broadband homes subscribing to at least one OTT service and only 58 percent using a traditional pay-TV service, according to Parks Associates. In the U.K., advertising spend is projected to increase by 18.2 percent this year to reach £27.7 billion ($38.5 billion). At NBCUniversal, second-quarter revenues were up by 39.2 percent to $7.9 billion. Meanwhile, total revenues at Discovery, Inc. were up 21 percent year-on-year to $3.06 billion. Revenues at Sony Pictures Entertainment rose to $1.8 billion, but operating income slipped to $233.5 million. The Edinburgh TV Festival has confirmed London Hughes, Greta Thunberg, Steve Coogan, Douglas Mackinnon and Neil Gaiman as speakers at this year’s event.

World Screen at MIPCOM

Kanal D International’s Ekin Koyuncu
By Kristin Brzoznowski

While Turkish dramas continue to maintain their strong standing on the global stage, romantic comedies have been proving popular with audiences both at home and abroad. Kanal D International has a bevy of rom-coms to offer the marketplace, alongside solid performers such as the House remake Hekimoğlu and a slew of dramas rich with all the elements that have long made series from Turkey such a success. Ekin Koyuncu, who took on the role of executive director at Kanal D International in May, talks to World Screen Weekly about serving the current needs of buyers and appetites of audiences.

***Image***WS: What have been your initial priorities and focus since taking on the role of executive director of Kanal D International earlier this year?
KOYUNCU: I have been with Kanal D International for almost four years now; knowing the organization, its culture and the team has been a great help during my adaptation period. My initial focus is to further prospective accounts and clients in existing regions, determining strategic priorities and identifying potential improvements in the organizational structure. As well as giving importance to our pre-sales strategies, we are focusing on expanding our reach and simultaneously improving our website and marketing outreach.

WS: How have Turkish drama series evolved to meet the tastes of viewers?
KOYUNCU: The representation of family, scenes of intimacy, the visual richness of Turkey, the traditional cultural expressions, production quality and diversified storylines are some of the characteristic elements that make Turkish series so popular. Our series offer diversified aspects of modernity and conservatism.

With all of these aspects, international sales and global viewership is continuing to grow. Turkey is the second country after the U.S. in worldwide TV distribution, followed by the U.K., France and Germany, reaching millions of households globally. The Turkish market is very competitive; the audience is tough and has many options to choose from. Producers and broadcasters need to deliver the best production quality with the most authentic stories, so I believe this equation sets the bar higher for the next title in line.

WS: Is it still more traditional stories that are most popular, or are there new elements making their mark?
KOYUNCU: While our classics are still in demand, with the pandemic, we are experiencing a shift toward romantic comedies as well. Depending on the region, the call for the genre differs. If the storyline is strong and the series is giving you the right emotions with the right cast, that story is finding the right audience. I recently read an article that was saying that Turkish drama has now established itself as a genre of its own, starting from the mid-1990s and shaping in the 2000s, proposing the word “dizi” (namely “series” in Turkish) as the name of the new genre. I totally agree with this.

This interview continues here.

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