Netflix pays millions to Turkish stars
Digital platforms broke into the Turkish television market, leaving no chance for the TV channels. The amount paid to the leading actors of the platforms is mind-boggling and makes you wonder about the future of Turkish series.
Journalists of the publication Flying Bird / Uçankuş found out how much the leading stars of Turkish TV series earn on Netflix and are shocked by the numbers. From now on, according to the publication, 150 thousand lira per episode is no longer relevant. Netflix crashed the market. The lowest salary for a star is $50,000 per episode (435,000 Turkish lira). The most expensive star of the platform costs $120,000 per episode or 1 million 50 thousand Turkish lira.
According to the publication, Beren Saat earned $110,000 per episode of the TV series The Gift (955 thousand Turkish lira), Engin Akyürek signed a contract for $90,000 (780 thousand Turkish lira). It is curious that Engin will appear in the new series not only as the leading actor, he also owns the idea of the plot on which the script is based. Çağatay Ulusoy also acted as the creative producer of the film Paper Lives. It seems that digital platforms allow stars not only to make good money, but also to develop creatively, which is very important for real actors.
TV channels are knocked out, Netflix “sucks out” big stars, and that’s bad news for free TV. The owner of TV8, Acun Ilicali, also decided to join the race, offering the actors the amount of 200-300 thousand Turkish lira for their work on the series of the local digital platform Exxen. However, Netflix raised the prices so much that the owner of the Turkish platform abandoned the TV shows (except for one or two) and switched to buying football matches.
The biggest problem for TV channels is that Netflix did not come alone, it will be followed by other international platforms (Amazon, HBO, Disney, WBD), which are willing to pay even larger sums to the stars. The only upside is that new young stars will appear on television. However, that’s also the downside – as soon as the actor becomes famous, he will escape to the platforms. The TV channels are planning to make long-term agreements with the actors so as not to lose stars.
However, there is a danger that the viewer will follow the favorite actors. After all, international platforms are not limited only to ordering series from Turkish producers, but are also ready to produce them, creating studios in Turkey and studying the demand for television products. While Netflix is targeting a younger audience and prefers fantasy and youth TV shows, Disney chooses a family audience that is more conservative. The HBO platform prefers to work with an educated and wealthy viewer, creating series of the highest quality.
Whether Turkish TV channels will withstand the competition with the huge money of international corporations is a big question. They may have to make concessions and use a system of simultaneous broadcast of series on television and on the platform, when the rights to the project will belong to international giants.