EXCLUSIVE: Former Endeavor agent and LA-based entrepreneur, Jourdan Martin, has partnered with a group of Turkish media execs to form Turkweb.tv. The ad-supported VOD service has been in soft-launch in Turkey with 11,000 hours of local content averaging 15 million video views per month. With the official launch, plans are also underway to establish similar services in Russia and Mexico, likewise with local content, although some Hollywood fare is expected to enter the frame. Turkey is a hot territory right now where the ad market is particulary strong and where homegrown TV series have increased steadily in popularity both at home and abroad in recent years. Partnered in the venture with Martin are former D-Smart exec Murat Saygi; former board member and president of Dogan TV Holding Group, Sevin Ergun Sefada; and Adnan Akdemir, founder of Turkish cinema operator AFM.
Martin says, “We believe the economics are favorable for such a service in the emerging markets. You have a situation in many of these countries where the vast majority of the people cannot afford to pay for entertainment, and instead only have access to three or four free-to-air channels. Providing a free ad-supported service with the convenience and flexibility of VOD is a powerful draw.” Martin and his partners plan to be opportunistic “in as many of these flourishing countries as possible” where the penetration of broadband and internet-connected devices is expanding rapidly.