How did 2018 start for you? With what goals did you start the last year and were you able to accomplish them? What goals did you set for this year and are you accomplishing them?
Our goal in general is having a larger volume in our industry. We strive to get rid of the perception of being a company serving only to supermarkets. Thus, we are targeting the leader companies of various industries. We started with companies like BP and Petrol Ofisi in fuel industry. We have entered shopping malls. By 2017, we have decided to expand our policy even more. We are the official media agency of Turkish Retailers Federation. This was one of the advantages to let us enter the supermarket industry. TRF supported us very much. Then, we targeted a larger mass by proceeding with other associations in Turkey. We wanted to support these associations and wanted to get support from them. By this way, we settled an agreement with Food Retailers Association, Glassware Association, and Turkey Restaurants Union and make a discount for their members. In the first quarter of 2018, we have the reached the goal of 2017. This means, in the first 6 month, we have grown by 70% compared to 2016. In 2020, we plan to bring the service we provide in Turkey to the large countries in Europe. We want get started with Germany. In late 2020, we are aiming to take place in at least 8 countries in Europe.
Can we learn about your work system? In what payment terms are you making contracts and what do your services include?
We make annual cash contracts with companies under 10 branches. We make installments for companies over 10 branches. We have two different music libraries. One of them is local and the other one is world music library. These libraries include vocal music. We make contracts within the framework of these libraries.
Afterwards, music broadcast begins in the supermarkets. What are your plans for song and announcements selection at that point?
We are not only making music broadcast in supermarkets. We establish a professional radio channel within them. For instance, we work with Adese. We establish a radio channel for them on which they announce their offers and commercials for their target group. On this channel, there are no commercials about a product the company does not want or a commercial about a competitor company. We have a production team for this. We get briefs from companies and make feedbacks according to these briefs.
Are you creating the contents unrelated to music with your client companies?
Yes. Companies send their fliers to us. We dub them and get them into the broadcast stream. Apart from this, we follow the updates in Turkey and worldwide on the behalf of the companies. For instance, if it is Decembert 24th World Awareness Day, we make a special work for Çift Geyik Karaca and present this work to them. Upon getting approval from the company, we take it into our broadcast stream. We make music news and “today in history” announcements. We can broadcast anything they want to take place on their radio channel.
What is the level of using copyrighted music in retail industry, especially in food retail industry? I suppose there is a rise after the penalties?
Early this year, the names in charge of MESAM started to change. Candan Erçetin is in charge of one of these. This bothered the retail industry very much. According to the law numbered 5846, companies have to pay the royalty right after they broadcast music in public areas. These royalties are protected by MESAM. We cannot say that music played in public areas was well protected until now. With Candan Erçetin’s presidency, serious investments stated to be made against this violation. Companies have to work with MESAM or companies like us. At MESAM, costs are too high and they are not giving a proper service. All they do is to pay for music broadcasting legally. If companies work with us, they own a radio channel and they can benefit from our dubbing service. They can broadcast music in all their branches simultaneously. For this reason, 80% of retail companies in Turkey prefer to work with companies like us. The rest 20% works with MESAM. I guess this 20% is unaware of us. Maybe, this is our fault. We strive to make our voice be heard by everyone.
“Companies will earn out of radio channels”
Do you have different projects?
A while ago, we put a new project into practive. We have created a brand named “Retail Turk”. We will start to take commercials for companies. For instance, we will take a commercial from a brand and ask all companies we work with if they wish to use this commercial. Companies to agree with this will earn out of radio broadcasting. This means, they will start to earn more than they pay to us. As you can see, we have formed a full professional and corporate radio course. Yet, we will be taking commercials to corporate radio channel media.
Are they also going to take a share from the commercial because you bring that commercial to the customers of the supermarket?
Yes, because every supermarket has a power on its own. They have a target group. Some listen to the commercials while driving, some on their earphones, some on TV. And we can deliver that commercial to people shopping at a supermarket. Until today, supermarkets used to make additional payments to radio channels. After our offer, they will start to earn out of their radio channel.
You mentioned gas stations. What do you have other than supermarkets and fuel?
We serve to shopping malls, stores, hospitals, and policlinics especially. Now, our goal is to bring this service to Europe. We began with Azerbaijan. We are currently providing this service there, too. However, we also want to deliver this service to the companies in Germany, UK, and France.
Are you planning to get started the Turkish companies in those countries?
It is our primary plan. One of the reasons why we have such a goal is Ortakalan, because we have made a vision exchange with Ortakalan. You had an attempt with etnikmarket.com and we wish to utilize the data there. Until today, Ortakalan has supported us in many ways. Ortakalan creats a great conduit in retail industry as how we create a radio channel conduit in supermarket. I follow Ortakalan daily. It has improved and still improving my vision. We want to take place in Europe with the help of Ortakalan.
Can you tell us about your music library?
Since 2005, we have been creating a local and foreign music library in Turkey. We receive professional vocal music works from our contracted companies in UK and USA. We make researches in cooperation with Cambridge University in order to serve the companies we work with more professionally. We make researches to figure out which music genre is appropriate at specific time periods in supermarkets, stores, and shopping malls. We currently own a music library having arounds 600.000 songs. Turkey’s most qualified music library belongs to us in terms of copyrighted music.
Which type of music should be preferred in specific time periods?
Actually, this depends on the target group of the company. Especially in retail industry, choosing the right tempo is also as important as the quality of the songs selected. Faster and slower music pieces should be preferred depending on the different periods of the day. Broadcasting a music with a wrong tempo in a wrong time period may result in a bad way whereas keeping the customers at the shop as long as possible is the main goal. For instance, broadcasting a disturbing music will be more appropriate at a fast food restaurant, because a high circulation is aimed. Customers should come, have their meals, and leave the fast food restaurants right after. In some restaurants, there should be only relaxing music. As the result of detailed researches we make and the feedbacks we receive from the companies, we create the most adequate music library.
Does the type of music vary depending on the location of the supermarkets?
Yes. We work with companies having over 100 branches. These companies have different offer requirements for different regions and branches. We have a software for this and we are improving it. We provide feedbacks according to the demands we get. With the help of this automation system, we are able to broadcast peculiar to the region or the branch. We can even broadcast music in a specific branch. For instance, we are able to celebrate the birthday of an employee in a specific branch. If our customers wish, the same music can be broadcasted simultaneously or the music can be customized regionally or branch based. We make offers and take commercial according to this. Let’s say THY (Turkish Airlines) wants to broadcast its commercials only in Marmara region. What we do is to offer these commercials to the companies in Marmara region or the companies having branches in this region.