Turkey's TRT had its first broadcast in 1968. Since then, it has reached millions of viewers through 18 TV networks, 17 radio stations, and 41 languages and dialects. Now, the company has launched its own streaming platform, Tabii. Señal News spoke with Elif Tatoğlu, Tabii's Director of Brand & Marketing, to describe the concept and business strategy of the service.
How did tabii's concept and business model become a reality for TRT's content strategy?
"Tabii is a new global streaming service that offers a wide range of high-quality, family-friendly, and value-based content. Built on TRT's award-winning and globally acclaimed storytelling, Tabii will enable us to showcase Turkey's best productions globally while embracing a new subscription-based business model. In addition to TRT productions, Tabii also offers exclusive originals and licensed content, dubbed and subtitled in multiple languages. By adding this new platform to our network, we aim to reach a younger audience in Turkey who have adopted a more digital approach to content consumption and enable international audiences to access our highly demanded content more easily and effectively."
What is the platform's local content strategy in Turkey?
"Tabii was launched in Turkey last May with a line-up of more than 30 original series ranging from beloved historical figures to superheroes' struggles against global disasters, action-packed productions to dystopian dramas, animations for kids to entertaining content for young adults. On top of its exclusive originals, all seasons and episodes of TRT's legacy flagship shows like 'Resurrection: Ertuğrul,' 'The Innocents and Barbaros: The Sword of the Mediterranean' s can be watched on demand on Tabii along with the latest episodes of current popular TRT series such as 'An Anatolian Tale' and 'What May Come.' The platform will also offer content from TRT's kids' channel Çocuk. In addition, TRT Channels' live programming, including news and sports, can be streamed on Tabii."
How will that offer be available internationally?
"Audiences can discover a vast selection of entertaining content in various genres, including action, period, drama, sci-fi, comedy, mystery, romantic comedy, and thriller. Tabii offers 15,000 hours of content in Turkey and aims to reach 5,000 hours internationally at the end of its first year. Globally, Tabii has undertaken one of the most ambitious projects, aiming to establish itself as the leading streaming platform for Turkish content in multiple languages. We will initiate our beta version in select markets during the last quarter of the year, followed by a broader launch in the first one of 2024. In the initial phase, our marketing efforts will focus on the MENA region, with other markets to follow later in 2024."
What genres and stories are the main focus for Tabii?
"Tabii's slogan is 'Stories That Bond Us,' and aims to find common ground through shared narratives and use those stories as a catalyst to build relationships, foster understanding, and strengthen global communities. Tabii is committed to using storytelling to unite people across cultures. We are influenced by stories of different cultures worldwide, stories of love, bravery, empathy, and triumph, creating inspiring storylines that reflect our audience's collective humanity. With the introduction of Tabii, our strategy is to lead Turkey's streaming business. We aspire to rank among the top 5 global streaming providers and serve as the primary digital platform for Turkish content worldwide."
How will tabii reinforce TRT's presence around the world?
"Global demand for Turkish content has been increasing exponentially in the last ten years, and as the world witnesses this exponential demand surge, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment. Viewing experiences are shifting, and the digital landscape emerges as the new arena, transforming and connecting viewers. TRT is a well-established brand, and in this dynamic landscape, Tabii emerges as a trailblazing force, producing culturally relevant content for users who are overlooked by the mainstream media. Aligned with our tagline 'A Fairer World is Possible,' Tabii's content will have a global impact. We now reach a much larger audience, sharing our culture and traditional values and telling authentic stories of largely underrepresented communities."
What are tabii's next international expansion objectives for events like MIPCOM?
"In the initial phase, our marketing efforts will focus on the MENA region, and English, Spanish, and Urdu speaking markets will be added later in 2024. We seek potential cooperation opportunities by promoting our brands and content at global events like Mipcom and aim to form B2B partnerships with telcos, local OTT players, and pay TV operators."
How do you analyze the global demand for Turkish content?
"Turkish content has transcended boundaries and captured the imagination of audiences across the globe. Spanning 190 countries, the allure of Turkish storytelling has reached over 800 million viewers, captivating audiences in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Turkish TV series and movies are among the most demanded content in the entertainment industry. This success has propelled Turkey to the forefront of content distribution, standing proudly as the second-largest exporter after the United States. Over the years, TRT's shows have cheered local viewers and made a mark internationally. One example is 'Resurrection Ertugrul,' which has already collected over 12 billion global views, transcending borders and languages to become a true global blockbuster. With Tabii, we aim to build upon the winning formula of producing high-quality content that all families across different generations can enjoy."
By Diego Alfagemez