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BongoBD (IN)

3/5 User rating
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bongobd.com

On our quest for the best movie streaming sites on the web, it would be impossible not to mention Bongo BD. Not only is Bongo BD widely revered for its superior TV and movie streaming platform, but it is easily the most popular movie streaming service in all of Bangladesh (followed closely by Bioscope as a close 2nd). If you are in the market for a new premium movie streaming site in India or Bangladesh, you have definitely come to the right place.

For the last 8 years or so, few Bangladeshi streaming sites have come anywhere near accomplishing what Bongo BD has. Between amassing one of the largest membership bases of any movie streaming service in Bangladesh or India, offering one of the most comprehensive streaming experiences on the market today thanks to an uncommonly broad range of services offered, and continuously growing into adjacent spaces as they did when they introduced their Cricket app, Bongo BD is truly one of a kind.

But just because Bongo BD has made quite a dent in the world of streaming over the last few years, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to be the best movie streaming site for you. We all have different tastes, preferences, and monthly budgets, after all. That’s why you were smart and decided to read the Bongo BD review before signing up, though! Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. I know it may sound like I’m being sarcastic, but, seriously, go ahead and do it. It’s okay, nobody will see!

Okay, now that we have gotten the self-congratulations out of the way, it is time to get down to business. Do you want to know, once and for all, if Bongo BD is the best movie streaming site for you? Well, let’s take a closer look at the popular streaming service, what it has to offer, and how much it costs in order to find out, shall we?

History

Bongo BD has one of the most interesting backstories of any streaming platform. This company didn’t exactly get its start in the typical way, wherein some entrepreneur decides that they want to start a streaming service, goes out and finds investors, and then launches it. Bongo BD sort of fell into the streaming industry, the result of unforeseen and wieldy growth on another channel.

Bongo BD began as a YouTube channel, believe it or not. Founded in 2013 by Ahad Mohammad and Navidul Huq, their YouTube page offered a wide variety of original content, from web series to commentary on products and current events. The channel quickly surpassed 2 million views and received YouTube’s Golden Play Button award, as well as an ICT national award.

Eventually, Bongo BD got too big for YouTube, having grown into more of an international brand. The company had produced so much original content and become so well-known that they decided the best course of action would be to develop a platform of their own. This would allow for further expansion and, of course, more lucrative opportunities if they could translate their millions of YouTube followers into monthly subscribers.

Today, Bongo BD has produced more than 1500 original Bengali films, and 1,000+ TV shows, dramas, and music videos. It is safe to say, I think, that Bongo BD made the switch from YouTube channel to movie streaming site at the perfect time – synergizing both the brand’s own momentum, as well as the fact that Bangladesh was (and still is) undergoing a huge surge in the popularity and prominence of movie streaming sites.

Design

Bongo BD offers a site design and layout that is fairly commonplace when it comes to movie streaming sites. Nothing about the site is particularly game-changing or especially exceptional. That being said, this design format is so commonly employed by TV and movie streaming sites because, well, it is effective. No need to reinvent the wheel, right?

Another perk to familiar site design is the fact that Bongo BD comes with no learning curve whatsoever. If you have used any one of the best movie streaming sites in the past – you know, the usual suspects: Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, etc. – Bongo BD will be instantly intuitive and user friendly. No surprises or curve balls here.

When you land on the site’s main page, you will be greeted by an extra-large banner that alternates featured movie and series posters. If something catches your eye, great, just click on it and start streaming immediately. There is no need to do any unnecessary digging or browsing in that case.

Or you can always continue to scroll down, where you will find an expansive series of horizontally situated content menus. Each line is separated by category or genre, and each also comes with a side-scrolling function, again, for the easiest browsing experience possible. This also lends a certain level of responsiveness and dynamic design to the site that I have come to expect from the best movie streaming sites on the web.

One aspect of Bongo BD’s site design, though, that does break the mold of the typical movie streaming site is the layout of the media player pages. For this, Bongo BD appears to have decided to pay homage to its roots, as it resembles YouTube a bit more than slightly. You’ll find the media player, of course, situated off-center, left, with a scrollable list of recommended videos spanning the right-hand side of the page beside it.

It’s sort of a hybrid movie streaming site and video streamer … With Bongo BD, you get the best of both worlds: Netflix meets YouTube.

The only potential downside to Bongo BD is the fact that it does incorporate quite a few ads. These, in my opinion, do a lot to undermine the otherwise enjoyable and adequate user experience of the site, being crammed in between content, as opposed to only fitted into movie streams as commercials. The site would look much better if it would rethink its approach to advertising.

On the flipside, though, the ads are likely a result of the movie streaming site recently making all of its content available for free due to COVID lockdown orders. So, I would say that it’s a pretty fair trade off, wouldn’t you?

Content and Features

One thing that is fairly unique about Bongo BD, though, is the nature of the movie streaming site’s content. Being a Bangladeshi site, you would be right to assume that almost all of the content featured here is from and of Bangladesh. Furthermore, Bongo BD offers up a solid blend of original films, Indian and Bangladeshi blockbuster hits, digital premieres, and classic cinema, the likes of which are seldom seen from even the best movie streaming site that charges top dollar for a subscription.

That is not all, though … Bongo BD also has thousands of TV shows, web series, music videos and YouTube style content (mostly geared towards young adults, I would say), which results in one of the most unique and interesting content libraries of any movie streaming site on the web today.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough content for you, perhaps the fact that Bongo BD also provides live TV streaming will convince you to check this movie streaming site out. Users can enjoy 19 of the top Bangladeshi TV channels thanks to Bongo. The main feature that I always feel is missing from many of the best movie streaming sites is the ability to watch live TV – so, add this to the growing list of strengths of this site!

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Mobile streamers rejoice … Bongo BD does have native apps available for both Android and iOS devices. The apps for both operating systems are decent – offering a smooth and responsive user interface, as well as more intuitive browsing and content discovery functions. The iOS app has an average user rating of 4 stars (out of 5), just to give you an idea of the public opinion.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, Bongo BD does not currently have any apps for smart TVs or Roku devices. This means a somewhat limited viewing experience, unless you don’t mind dusting off the old HDMI cables.

Pricings and Plans

This may be the best news of the whole Bongo BD review: this premium movie streaming site is 100% free for anyone and everyone to use, all around the world! As I said, the company made their service free to help people through COVID, but it appears to be sticking to this model for the foreseeable future.

Likes & Hates:
Thousands of high-quality movies, shows, and original content
Android and iOS apps
Free movie streaming (for now)
Live TV streaming
Ad-heavy
No smart TV apps