Veteran media exec Christian Toksvig is launching Cocoa Media, a distribution company dedicated to placing content on Free Advertising Supported Television (FAST) platforms. Cocoa has pacted with cutting edge Turkish content aggregator Merzigo to bring Turkish dramas into the FAST sphere.
Toksvig, a former SVP Of HBO Max In EMEA who previously served as commercial officer at Asian streamer iFlix, has forged an exclusive partnership with Merzigo, a prominent Turkish internet company that has deals with top Turkish producers such as Acun Medya and Tims & B and with broadcasters including Fox, KanalD and TV8.
Cocoa Media will bring a large library of both classic and new Turkish drama series to consumers of major global FAST platforms including LG, Samsung TV Plus, Philips and Rlaxx TV.
Their lineup of content from Turkey’s leading production houses and broadcasters includes full seasons of evergreen favorites such as “Magnificent Century” (pictured) “Magnificent Century: Kösem,” “I Named Her Feriha” and “Woman,” as well as more recent hit shows including “Forbidden Fruit,” “Golden Boy,” “You Knock on My Door” and “Miracle Doctor.”
All shows are subtitled or dubbed as required for each region. “The company will further enrich its portfolio with future shows, ensuring a steady supply of fresh and exciting content in the years to come,” it said in a statement.
Cocoa Media’s FAST content is launching as channels under the brand names Merhaba Turkish Drama and Merhaba Turkish Films, and as AVOD titles. The live channels and respective AVOD content will be launching over the coming months on Samsung TV Plus in Germany, LG Channels in Germany, Philips devices in Europe and Latin America, Rlaxx TV and several other platforms to be announced going forward.
Cocoa Media is launching from the Mipcom TV market in Cannes, where Toksvig will take part in a panel during the FAST & Global Summit on Oct. 18.
“Turkish television dramas have exploded in popularity across the world in the last 10 years, as consumers have been charmed by their storylines centred on family, love, betrayal and intrigue, often led by strong female characters,” Toksvig said in a statement, adding that “they have proven to be ratings winners for international broadcasters and more recently also as engagement drivers for global subscription streaming services.”
But “one place where they have been conspicuously absent is on the rapidly growing FAST services where consumers are spending more of their time,” Toksvig went on, pointing out that “this new launch makes up for that.”
Commenting on the partnership with Cocoa Media, Merzigo chairman Yiğit Doğan Çelik said: “As official partner of YouTube and Meta, we have been in the digital content business for the last five years. We believe Turkish content has huge potential for added reach and monetization in the AVOD and FAST space and we are proud to initiate this partnership with Cocoa Media.”