“Awake” Star Media's Adaptation of Disney’s Series Creates Records at IVI

Star Media's “Awake” is one of most successful and enduring original projects on the IVI's catalogue. It is an adaptation of “Awake” licensed to Star Media by The Walt Disney Company CIS, LLC

The release of "Awake," one episode a week, allowed IVI to hold the audience for several months from the start of the production’s release. The peak of viewing occurred after all the episodes were released, which spurred the audience growth twice. From July 2021, “Awake” has consistently been on IVI's weekly top most in-demand TV series, despite competition from other newly released productions. In terms of user demand steadiness, “Awake” shows one of the best performances among the original projects on IVI. At the end of 2021, the series occupies a strong position in the top 5 series, both in terms of unique viewers and in terms of view-through rates.

“2021 has shown huge competition in the original content market on online platforms. The stakes on the release of each production are high, and in the case of “Awake,” IVI managed to accomplish several business tasks at once: to ensure the growth of subscribers to the service, to offer the market a series that viewers return to watch once again to, and to increase the IVI brand awareness among the audiences taking interest in Russia-produced film content,” comments Oleg Tumanov, CEO of IVI.

“We are pleased that a series being a Russian adaptation of our original production shows excellent performance,” says Kakhaber Abashidze, CEO of The Walt Disney Company Russia & CIS and The Walt Disney Company Central & Eastern Europe. “Local production is one of the important priorities in our company’s business. We have a successful experience of Russia-produced movies for theaters, licensing of original titles for adaptation and dealing with serial content – this is a natural continuation of our strategy. We plan to continue to work in this area and expand the circle of partners to cooperate with.”

“Leaning towards Russian-speaking audiences, we organically adapted the US series, “Awake,” to the audience's needs. It was important for us to show the depth of the characters, their human strengths and weaknesses,” says Maria Grechishnikova, CEO of Star Media Group. “Moreover, we altered many storylines and even the finale of the series. Major changes like these were needed in order for our viewers to believe the story and not treat it like a rip-off of the original. It is important that Disney understood the need for such a broad adaptation and trusted us. As a result, we got a high-quality original product that received a recondition from the IVI Originals audience.”

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The production has been selected at Berlinale Series Market to be included in the program of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival.