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Kanal D Drama continues its international expansion
 11 Jan 2021
In December, Kanal D International announced that its Kanal D Drama channel is now airing in 13 countries, reaching viewers in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. In this exclusive interview, Kerim Emrah Turna, Executive Director of Kanal D International, talks about the key role that the international network plays in their business, as part of their B2C strategy. This year, Kanal D Drama is set to enter new territories in CEE, CIS and Asia, among others.

Kerim, Kanal D Drama has just started its second year of operations as the first international Turkish drama channel. How was the idea for the channel born?

We have been introducing the world to Turkish Content for 16 years as Kanal D International. After the great success of Turkish dramas globally I started to work on the restructuring of our international business arm. In 2018 we created Kanal D Drama, the first 24/7 Turkish drama channel, under Kanal D International Networks to reach the end user. Having a huge, very successful library gave us the opportunity to own our global brand. At the moment, the distribution arm of the company continues its B2B activities under the brand Kanal D International and Kanal D International Networks is the name of the business line that holds all linear assets targeting B2C.

Kanal D Drama has now successfully widened its footprint to 13 territories. How have viewers accepted the channel in the various countries? Where is it most popular?

The channel has been welcomed in all territories. Kanal D Drama is the first Turkish Drama channel established in Latin America and Europe and the first channel that penetrated the US market. The latest launch was in Peru and KDD became “The Top Viewed Channel” among the thematic channels and one of the top nets in all categories. In addition to this, it has gained wide acceptance and high viewership amongst Hispanic female viewers in the U.S. It is reported that 87% of the audience for Kanal D Drama in the U.S. are women, 26.1% between 35 to 44 years old, and 22.5% between 45 and 54. This is the same phenomenal audience acceptance that Kanal D Drama has experienced in Latin America and throughout the world.

Has the coronavirus pandemic affected your expansion plans? Which territories will be added to Kanal D Drama’s footprint in 2021?

I am glad to say that despite of this pandemic we are proceeding with our expansion plans. In 2020 we added Peru, France, Albania and Kosovo to our broadcasting countries and by the end of 2020 while we are celebrating the 1st year in the U.S we have reached 13 countries in Western Europe, CEE, LATAM and the US. In 2021 we will be penetrating into new territories in CEE, Asia and CIS.

What have been Kanal D Drama's most-popular titles in 2020?

We have 13 different Kanal D Drama channels in 13 countries and they all have their own programming including the all-time favorites and fresh dramas in our catalogue, which is the widest Turkish catalogue. So, in this prospective it will be right to say that all our dramas broadcasted on all KDD’s are popular.

What are your content plans for 2021? How do you select the titles which will be shown on the channel?

KDI is the global business arm of Demirören Media Group but the main driver is the distribution of the drama series that Kanal D produces. As a result of this, we have a pipeline that never stops producing. The titles on the different local feeds of Kanal D Drama are selected by considering a lot of criteria like local audience needs and tastes, availabilities and the FTA market and clients acquisition strategies.

What would you say has been the main trend on the Turkish content market this season?

I guess romantic comedies and sitcoms are getting more and more popular. However, due to the pandemic most of the buyers have shown interest in bestseller titles from all content distributors.

VOD is now the king of content consumption. What are your plans in this direction?

We are working with our partners and clients all over the world to feed their need in means of VOD.

You have recently announced a new team at KDI. What other novelties can we expect from you?

KDI has always been like a school for the distribution industry in Turkey. As a result of this, we have always had a vision of growth. We are planning to take this to another level.

Have you seen a change in demand for content among your clients around the world?

There is always change in buyers tastes, however the demand of the audience for the good content never changes. At the moment Kanal D International has the widest catalog of Turkish dramas reaching up to 5.000 hours of library and 150.000 hours of licensed content to more than 154 countries.

KDI always offers a quality production and a combination of unique but relatable storytelling with talented artists. With various genres from action to family, medical to romantic comedy and award-winning dramas like Fatmagul, etc. We offer the best content and excellent operations. It is great to supply content to a variety of consumers all around the world.

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