The first Bhutan-based streaming platform was the Vimeo on demand-based Beskop. The situation changed dramatically from 2021, when the first domestic streaming platform, Samuh Bhutan, launched. The Covid 19 pandemic affected Samuh’s launch. Cinemas had been closed for nearly two years, reopening only in April 2022. Samuh came at a time when people needed somewhere to watch films. There is only one national TV station in the country.
Bhutanese films have always been shown in cinemas. They were hardly available in other formats, such as DVDs. Piracy is widespread and a very high risk. Samuh enabled the local population to start watching Bhutanese films again.
Very few people in Bhutan have access to Netflix, and only in Thimphu. Credit cards, including international ones, are not used.