Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

News from the world of Television

Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:20 am

What you need to know about the new Rogers, Shaw video service, Shomi
Christine Dobby And James Bradshaw
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 26 2014, 1:57 PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Aug. 26 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

After more than a year of speculation that Rogers Communications Inc. was working on its own video streaming service to take on Netflix Inc., the Toronto company finally revealed Tuesday its new service Shomi, a joint venture with its Western Canada cable rival Shaw Communications Inc. Set to launch in the first week of November, Shomi will initially only be available to cable or Internet subscribers of the two companies as part of a test period.

Here are five things to know about the new service.

Who can get Shomi?

As of now, only Rogers or Shaw television or Internet subscribers will be able to sign up, but the companies say they’re already in discussions with other television distributors and hope to make it more widely available at launch. Executives say they expect their “beta” testing period to last six to 12 months and will evaluate different pricing and packaging options as they go. It could eventually be available to anyone, regardless of whether they are customers of any specific television or Internet provider.

What does it offer?

Shomi will be heavy on TV at launch when it is set to feature 11,000 hours of television from 340 series and 14,000 episodes. It will also include 1,200 movies and about 30 per cent of the content will be Canadian. While Rogers has invested heavily in sports rights, live or replayed sporting events are not part of the plans for Shomi, although it will feature sports movies and documentaries.

Rogers and Shaw are heavy buyers of media and while the service will feature some overlap in content with Netflix, the companies say they have won exclusive rights to much of the content. They want to convince potential customers that Shomi is different enough to make it worth subscribing to not instead of, but in addition to Netflix. Executives say their market research suggests Canadians could be willing to subscribe to up to four such services.

In their announcement today, the companies highlighted the option to watch past seasons of titles such as Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, 2 Broke Girls, Vikings, New Girl and American Horror Story. Netflix has had huge success with its own original series House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Creating programs specifically for Shomi is “definitely on our roadmap,” said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley, but he noted it wouldn't be immediate.

How much will it cost?

Shomi will initially be priced at $8.99 per month, exactly the same as what Netflix now charges for its standard membership after raising its price by $1 in May (users already paying $7.99 were grandfathered into that price for two years). This is a “suggested” price, meaning new television or Internet providers that sign on could set a different price for their customers.

Why is this service launching now?

A “Canadian version of Netflix” has been a long time coming and even Shomi is only launching as a test version in November. Rogers and Shaw said they felt they had to get into the space before it was too late. “There comes a point where you just have to get at it,” said Barbara Williams, senior vice-president of content at Shaw.

How will consumers be able to access it?

Shomi will be available on five platforms at launch – tablet, mobile (iOS and Android), online, Xbox 360 and and set-top boxes. Those who access it through their cable boxes will encounter more basic graphics, but they won’t have to worry about it counting against their Internet data cap for the month.

The purple-branded interface is similar to what users of Netflix are used to, with new content highlighted near the top and recommendations tailored based on your stated preferences and past viewing habits. Rogers and Shaw say they are banking on bringing a human touch to the service with expert-curated libraries and more personal feel.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:37 am

At the risk of my placing a "Kick Me" sign on my rear end by saying so, I am actually quite interested in this, though it appears that I won't be able to get it Day One.

What makes me more interested in this than in Netflix? When used with one of the supported Shaw cable boxes, it does not use the public Internet, but the same private network used by Shaw to deliver cable television programming. That eliminates a whole bunch of issues that I don't like about services delivered by the public Internet:
  • Network Congestion
  • Reliability - historically, Shaw's digital cable has been more reliable than my Shaw Internet service
  • Monthly Bandwidth
  • Speed of my Internet Service
  • No worries about the Backroom Boys at Shaw accidentally blocking my service when they implement their latest software to stop video downloads, as they did to my in-laws and their non-Shaw Internet-based television service
If I read it right, I won't be eligible Day One as I am not currently a Shaw cable TV subscriber, but I do have my telephone and Internet service from them. Becoming a cable TV subscriber completely ruins the economics of shomi, given the price of the cheapest Basic Cable package.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby albertaboy4life » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:32 pm

How much of their exclusive content is the result of having 30% Canadian content? Further, how much of it is content coming from their broadcast divisions (Corus Entertainment, etc.)?

To make it fair, they had better ease up on their throttling of Netflix and other services when users try to access the "competition" through the Rogers or SHAW network.
Faster cars, younger women, older cheese, more money . . .
User avatar
albertaboy4life
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 4:48 pm
Location: Back in Alberta

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:28 pm

shomi: Rogers and Shaw limiting access to current cable subscribers is a recipe for failure
By Patrick O'Rourke, Canada.com
October 30, 2014

At first glance, Rogers and Shaw’s long-rumoured new streaming content platform, shomi, seems to be a perfect example of two large telecommunications companies teaming up to finally modernize the way customers consume video content.

But it isn’t, at least not right now.

In an initial subscriber model similar to HBO Go, shomi is only available to current Rogers and Shaw subscribers for an additional fee of $8.99 a month. Many Rogers and Shaw subscribers likely already have Netflix subscriptions, considering nearly a third of all English-speaking Canadians subscribe to the $8 a month service.

Rogers’ subscribers also currently have access to platforms like Rogers on Demand and Shaw’s Global Go, two services that are set to operate very similarly to shomi, although both Rogers and Shaw have stated shomi will mostly consist of platform-specific content.

If shomi launched as a service not tethered to often expensive digital cable or internet subscriptions, then $8 a month might make sense for consumers seeking a different content streaming option, especially since popular U.S. streaming service, Hulu, still isn’t available in Canada (although it is possible to use Hulu in Canada through VPN services).

Right now Netflix is basically the only viable streaming platform in the Canadian market, so there is room for another player as long as it adopts a business model that makes sense.

The catch here is shomi will only “initially” be available to current Shaw and Rogers internet subscribers, but if the service is eventually expanded to everyone, it could potentially become a content option for cord cutters and also have a fighting chance of taking on Netflix’s Canadian streaming platform supremacy. So far both Rogers and Shaw haven’t discussed their plans to expand shomi beyond their current subscriber base.

Rogers and Shaw’s announcement of shomi today has considerable upside with Warner Bros., NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox have signed on to bring past seasons of shows like Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Shameless, Chicago Fire, The Strain and American Horror Story, some of which aren’t available on Netflix Canada, to shomi at launch.

In total more than 14,000 episodes, including 340 TV shows and 1,200 movies are coming to shomi, a rather impressive amount of content for such a new service. Thirty per cent of all content on shomi is also set to be Canadian created, which great to see.

Both Rogers and Shaw need to find a way to attract new customers to shomi, particularly cord cutters who have already ditched their traditional cable connections. Unfortunately a timeline on freeing shomi from the shackles of a traditional cable subscription is still unclear.

Exclusive content is also a big element shomi needs to ensure it has. If someone is already paying for Netflix, why would they bother paying for yet another service with the exact same streaming options, especially when Netflix now creates its own exclusive award-winning content like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Ensuring shomi is available on a variety of platforms, one of Netflix’s biggest advantages right now, is also important to its success. At launch, shomi seems like it will only launch on Android, iOS, the Xbox 360 and set-top boxes, leaving out a number of popular platforms.

While shomi looks like it might be destined for obscurity right now with its current subscription platform, with Rogers and Shaw backing the platform, it certainly has the potential to succeed. The key to shomi being anything more than just a niche streaming platform is allowing anyone to subscribe to it, although often restrictive Canadian internet bandwidth limits could create problems for some users.

Rogers and Shaw are reportedly sharing equal portions of Shomi and it’s set to launch in the first week of November in a closed beta test. Bell is also rumoured to be working on its own Netflix-like streaming service that will stream video content in both French and English.

The announcement of shomi also comes on the heels of a new CRTC proposal outlining a pick-and-pay cable service.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:29 pm

I checked and the shomi site now confirms what the article implies: existing Shaw Internet OR Shaw TV customers can subscribe to the beta program that begins next week.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:47 pm

You have to be a Shaw TV subscriber before you can use a cable box to get shomi. Shaw Internet subscribers can only get Internet access.

Worse yet, there is no access to their catalogue without signing up for a free trial, so I can't tell if I want it without wasting a free trial I may want to use later when Shaw removes the restrictions of having to be a Shaw TV or Internet customer and, hopefully, being able to use a cable box to get shomi without having to be a Shaw TV subscriber.

Back to my DVDs.....
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby drmusic » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:39 am

The only way this is a Netflix-killer is if they (and Bell's service) can buy up enough content to block Netflix from getting it.
User avatar
drmusic
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:56 pm
Location: the Great Prairie West

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:06 pm

Web streaming service Shomi to shut down as of Nov. 30
Rogers and Shaw launched online service in November 2014
The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 26, 2016 4:32 PM ET
Last Updated: Sep 26, 2016 5:04 PM ET

Video streaming service Shomi announced Monday it will shut down at the end of November, two years after it launched.

"The business climate and online video marketplace have changed markedly in the last few years," David Asch, senior vice-president and general manager for Shomi, said in a statement.

"Combined with the fact that the business is more challenging to operate than we expected, we've decided to wind down our operations."

Asch said the company remains proud of the service it launched and the role it play in evolving video landscape in Canada.

Shomi was launched by Rogers and Shaw in November 2014 in an effort to grab the attention of a growing number of people watching TV and movies online.

It was seen as a competitor to Netflix and other similar web streaming services.

"We tried something new, and customers who used Shomi loved it," Melani Griffith, senior vice-president of content at Rogers, said in another statement.

"It's like a great cult favourite with a fantastic core audience that unfortunately just isn't big enough to be renewed for another season."

Rogers said it expects to incur a loss on investment of approximately $100 million to $140 million in its third quarter, which ends Friday.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby Tom Jeffries » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:46 pm

I never met anyone who had this service.

You?

I think we are at a tipping point in media - all bets are off...what will stick...?
Tom Jeffries
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 633
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby drmusic » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:53 pm

I have it. I enjoy the selection of movies, as opposed to Crave which is entirely TV, and Netflix which is mostly focusing now on original content, some of it very good. I will miss Shomi.

I might be the only one, but I'm sorry it's going.
User avatar
drmusic
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:56 pm
Location: the Great Prairie West

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby kal » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:33 pm

Interestingly the Shaw write-down for Shomi hasn't affected the share price. SJR.B is basically unchanged.

An interesting sidebar is that Telus is playing hardball with its unions and is citing inroads being made by Shaw, particularly on the Internet side, and, down the road, by Wind.
kal
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 506
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby tuned » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:47 am

Telus playing hardball with unions is like ham and eggs. I guess the security guards will be back in front of Entwhistle's Shaughnessy mansion.
User avatar
tuned
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 1218
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 5:06 pm

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:00 am

kal wrote:Interestingly the Shaw write-down for Shomi hasn't affected the share price. SJR.B is basically unchanged.

Shaw-owned Corus stock CJR.B took a hit about the time of of the announcement, but only just over 1%.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby jon » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:06 am

As Shomi shuts down, Bell CEO George Cope says CraveTV 'continues to grow'
Steve Lambert
The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG -- The president and CEO of Bell Canada is expressing confidence in his company's streaming video service even as a competitor in the Netflix-dominated field prepares to shut down.

"There's no change in the status of CraveTV," George Cope said in an interview Tuesday with The Canadian Press.

"It's meeting our expectations, continues to grow and Canadians continue to subscribe to that service, so we're going to keep competing in that marketplace."

Cope's comments came one day after Shomi, launched two years ago by Rogers (RCIb.TO 0.11%) and Shaw (SJRb.TO 0.73%), announced it is calling it quits at the end of November due to lower-than-hoped-for subscriber numbers.

Both Shomi and CraveTV have had to play catch-up with Netflix, which launched in Canada in 2010 and had the benefit of an established name in the United States. CraveTV came onstream in 2014 and was originally available only to subscribers of cable services such as Bell (BCE.TO 0.05%) and Telus (T.TO 0.37%).

It became available to all Canadians last January.

Cope would not comment on specific subscriber numbers. Solutions Research Group, a Toronto-based consumer-research firm, estimated earlier this year that five million Canadian households -- about 46 per cent of all homes -- subscribed to Netflix.

That's roughly seven times more than Shomi and CraveTV combined, said the report, which added that CraveTV was trailing Shomi.

Cope said the demise of Shomi means CraveTV will compete "more directly" with Netflix.

While each service offers its own unique content, such as Netflix's highly popular "House of Cards" series, CraveTV's main selling point is its exclusive rights in Canada to older HBO shows such as "The Wire" and "The Sopranos."

"I suspect that as long as CraveTV has HBO, then they'll actually be OK," said Etan Vlessing, Canadian bureau chief for Hollywood Reporter.

Zach Fleisher, a 24-year-old Winnipegger, subscribed to both Netflix and HBO for several months. A big HBO fan, he abandoned Netflix in the summer.

"I just found that with the one service, there was enough content on there to keep myself occupied for the amount of time I spend watching TV," Fleisher said.

Others, however, don't choose only one service.

"I use Netflix, Crave and Shomi. The three combined costs way less than cable and basically gives me any show I want," said Spencer Blake of Toronto via social media.

With files from Victoria Ahearn in Toronto
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9072
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shomi, Rogers/Shaw's "Netflix-Killer"

Postby WheresFredTaylor » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:51 pm

Crave's awesome but needs some tweaks.

Needs to become available on more devices (PS systems) and needs to mirror Netflix when it comes to logging in.
WheresFredTaylor
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:34 pm


Return to On the small screen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests