Seven years ago, Global Agency chief exec Izzet Pinto was approached in Cannes by an Indian, Rahul Sarangi, who pitched him a format called “The Remix” that he had written on a one-page Word file.
In early March, “The Remix” went out globally in 200 territories on Amazon Prime Video in a lavishly produced English-language Indian adaptation of the music reality show, marking the streamer’s first unscripted original.
Sarangi “was upset that the majors would not give him an appointment,” recalls Pinto, who believed in the format and later gave him financing to shoot a pilot.
The show involves 10 teams comprising a DJ and a singer who rejig, reshuffle and remix existing songs — in this case popular Bollywood ballads — into brand new cover versions and compete for big money and their chance to cut an album.
After two years, Global Agency was able to close its first deal for “The Remix” in Vietnam. Two years later it went on air there, produced by Sarangi’s Mumbai-based Greymatters, and took Vietnam by storm, beating local versions of “X-Factor” and “The Voice” by a large margin. Local versions in Indonesia and China followed, as well as options in multiple territories.
Now a major Turkish TV drama exporter around the world, Global Agency started out 11 years ago by representing a Turkish wedding show format called “Perfect Bride,” in which 12 young women who want to get married compete for the affections of six young men looking for wives. The men’s mothers are brought along to aid in the selection process. It’s been sold widely, including to China, Germany, Italy and India.
A couple of years later Pinto “introduced Turkish dramas to the world … which became huge,” he notes.
But the formats side of his business has also been booming recently with Global Agency sales to a slew of territories ranging from Asia to Central and Eastern Europe.
Right now, 70% of Global Agency’s formats are Turkish, while 30% originate from a dozen international countries including France, Spain, the U.S., U.K. and Israel.
“I believe that 30% will soon be 50%,” says Pinto, who is “looking at all the major countries and always adding new ideas” to his roster.