Özlem Özsümbül, head of sales at Madd Entertainment, talks to TV Drama about how the company is making sure the spotlight stays firmly planted on Turkish dramas on the global content stage.
Since launching just a few years ago, in 2018, Madd Entertainment has been hard at work to make sure the spotlight stays firmly planted on Turkish dramas on the global content stage. And it has done so on the back of a diversified catalog formed through the combination of powerhouse producers Medyapım and Ay Yapım.
“We are really lucky because our producers, Medyapım and Ay Yapım, are the best production companies in Turkey, with their great ability and experience,” says Özlem Özsümbül, head of sales. “Their vision helps us to distribute many different genres like high-quality productions, dramas, miniseries, feature films, rom-coms and adaptations. They have some original stories and some of the best-adapted stories from Korea, Japan, France, the U.S. and the U.K., and they are always searching for the best content for audiences.”
Among the successful titles on Madd’s slate is My Little Girl, which has garnered strong ratings results in Argentina and Puerto Rico and has started in the U.S. now as well. A Miracle “is the highest-rated prime-time drama from Turkey [of] the last eight years,” says Özsümbül, who points to sales in Albania, Georgia and across the MENA region. “The Choice and A Miracle are the first titles that Turner LatAm acquired pay-TV rights to,” she adds.
“Our new summer title, Love Is in the Air, has seen great interest from many countries and has already sold to MENA and Israel. The Teacher, our revolutionary title, and Nehir, our traditional love story, have serious interest from many countries. They already sold to some countries too,” even though they are earlier in their runs. “We have some other new and exciting titles for the season in production.”
The spread of digital platforms in Turkey, and their original commissioning, has had an impact on the programming coming out of the country. Because of lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the viewing diets of the young generation in Turkey, there has been “huge demand for digital platforms, but we are also so addicted to our traditional TV habits. During the lockdown period, all TV stations were watched with high demand,” says Özsümbül.
She adds that COVID-19 did impact production across Turkey, but there’s been a path forward with new protocols in place. “We got back to the production process as soon as we could and found some solutions like COVID testing to all production teams regularly, splitting teams and safe locations for shooting—those important details helped a lot to get back to our business earlier than any other content providers.”
Looking ahead, Madd wants to “keep providing the best content to all our colleagues in these strange and difficult days,” Özsümbül says. “We are all in this business and we are a good team together as broadcasters, distributors and producers. We have to stay strong and together first and keep working together. We will continue to help them present the best content, productions and stories from Turkey for their audiences.”