Bhutan launches its own OTT platform to promote local content and culture

Samuh, the first Bhutanese OTT platform to screen local content, was launched last week in Bhutan by Finance Minister Namgay Tshering

Jul 06, 2021
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Bhutan launches its own OTT platform

Samuh, the first Bhutanese OTT platform to screen local content, was launched last week in Bhutan by Finance Minister Namgay Tshering. The platform will cater to a wide range of original, licensed, and curated Bhutanese content.

Founded in 2020, Samuh, the country’s first media-tech start-up is owned by Samuh Mediatech. The project cost around $870,000. 

Within a week of the launch, over 10000 Bhutanese have already registered for its subscription, indicating an impressive beginning of the start-up. 

“The Bhutanese Film Industry is over two decades old and has played a critical role in the preservation of language, culture, and heritage,” Nayema Zam, the founder, and CEO of Samuh was quoted as saying by Kuensel newspaper. 

However, a number of factors--including the lack of cinema theatres and proper distribution network--hampered the sector’s growth potential, Zam added. 

The platform can be accessed from 60 countries across the world. The content on the platform includes entertainment and infotainment spanning across different sectors such as original films, original web series, documentaries, music videos, shows, and animation programs for children, among others.

The platform, Zam says, will also pave the way for easy monetization of the creativity of the local artists and producers. Besides promoting and developing the industry in Bhutan through the creation of employment and skilling programs in the creative space, it will also support the development of the arts and independent films in Bhutan.

For the last few years, the government also made concentrated efforts in developing the country’s film small film industry. Since 2013, Korean International Cooperation Agency each year conducts a 10-day training session for Bhutanese filmmakers. 

The training covers commercial film planning and development, storytelling, directing,  post-production process, basics of scenario-plot and selection, the study of characters and types of films among others. The latest localized OTT platform will further encourage these young professionals of Bhutan. 

(SAM)