Earlier this year, Ekin Koyuncu was appointed as the new Executive Director of Kanal D International, replacing Kerim Emrah Turna. Being a part of the industry for 12 years, Koyuncu has been responsible for the growth and reach of Turkish content and the company's ongoing network expansion efforts in the territory. Speaking with Señal News, the executive described what these first months in her new role were like and talked about her strategy.
▸ What challenges does this new position present to you?
"I really appreciate this opportunity. Right now, I am working closely with different teams in order to create new strategies. For example, to enwiden our presence in Asia, which is not unknown to us, but it still is an unopened territory because of the cultural differences. We are also working on getting adapted to the days we've lived for the last two years. The viewing habits and the demand for genres changed, so we are working on different projects in order to reach all targets".
▸ What is your strategy when it comes to international sales?
"This past year has been a huge challenge for everyone, but we were able to see the opportunities quickly and determine our priorities. At the beginning of the pandemic, there were many aspects that people could not foresee. Traditional broadcasters lost their yearly acquisition budgets and lowered expenses on marketing and localization. In those circumstances, while keeping the expenses under control and maintaining the slots running with good performance, many territories went after strong re-runs. We have been underlining the power of our all-time favorites such as 'Forbidden Love,' 'Fatmagul,' and 'Time Goes By' for many years. Once again, the strength of our library provided us a much wider playground".
▸ Do you observe any particular trend in the global market?
"People are shifting towards more optimistic, feel-good stories. Romantic comedies became the breakpoint to the stress we are all experiencing in our daily lives. Therefore, we have enwidened the presence of romantic comedies in our catalog and added two stress relievers like 'Recipe of Love' and 'Twist of Fate'. Nevertheless, the demand for strong dramas continues so that we will have a new premium drama by Süreç Film, called 'Üç Kız Kardeşler' (Three Sisters), an adaptation of a bestseller novel written by Turkish author İclal Aydın".
▸ How do you analyze the current global positioning of Turkish dramas?
"For many years, telenovelas were huge in the global market, but with time the popularity decreased. While not generalizing, I believe this is due to production quality and losing the creativity in finding unique stories. The Turkish market is a very competitive environment, where the audience is tough and has many viewing options. Producers and broadcasters need to deliver the best production standard with authentic stories. I believe this equation sets the bar higher for the next title, and all that hard work and effort will continue to be rewarded in the international arena".
▸ What are the most significant needs of your clients?
"Right now, in order to increase the viewership of their channels, clients are in search of not only library titles but also newer titles. I believe Turkish content remains the top product and the first choice for buyers. We truly appreciate the value given to every production and even to our catalog library, that continues to gain relevance in every region where we distribute our content".
By Federico Marzullo