Rogers and Shaw Announce Netflix Competitor ‘shomi’, Priced at $8.99/month [u]

Screenshot 2014 08 26 05 48 23

Rogers and Shaw have announced today their new streaming service called shomi (pronounced show-me), their response to Netflix. The service will debut in the first week of November priced at a suggested price of $8.99 per month and will have over 14,000 episodes and titles at launch.

The subscription service will first launch in beta for Rogers and Shaw Internet or TV customers this fall, and will have exclusive past streaming rights to shows such as: Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Shameless, 2 Broke Girls, Vikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day, Chicago Fire, The Strain, and American Horror Story.

“We’ve taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy.  shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”

“We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it,” said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media.  “shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we’re so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market.”

Both companies note at launch, there will be over 11,000 hours of TV shows, 1,200 movies, 340 TV series, with 30 percent of the content being Canadian. Shomi will offer six profiles per account to accommodate family members, with users being able to watch on two devices and their set top boxes at the same time.

The service will use expert programmers and algorithms to curate content for viewers, which the company website describes as “it’s magic”. Shomi will be available on the web, iOS, Android, Rogers and Shaw cable boxes and XBOX 360. So in other words, non-Rogers and Shaw customers are shut out from the start, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Rogers and Shaw note shomi is a joint venture that will operate as a standalone entity with its own management structure.

Rumours of Rogers creating a streaming Netflix rival started as far back as last May, with an earlier report from this year claiming up to $100 million would be spent on content deals. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last year, upon hearing rumours of Canadian TV providers coming out with their own streaming services, noted his company was ready to compete with any new offerings.

For starters, the price of shomi rivals Netflix, but the question remains whether the content will as well. Shomi faces competition from Netflix out of the gate, plus other streaming services such as Videotron’s illico. Bell is rumoured to launch its own Netflix competitor sometime in the future too.

More details will emerge this morning after both companies hold a media event demonstrating shomi, set to take place at 10AM EDT.

What do you think? Is shomi something you’d be interested in signing up for?

Update: Here’s what the shomi iPad app looks like:

Screenshot 2014-08-26 09.58.53

Rogers just sent us the image below of what the shomi web interface looks like:

shomi - Image

 

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • FamiGami

    They won’t hold a candle against Netflix and Hulu is a much better option for current run TV anyway. That said, with three options in Canada were talking major dilution of subscribers that will make it unaffordable for any of them to strike up content deals with anybody. The reality is, canada has a population ten times smaller than the US and therefore can tolerate much less competition in the market. On the other hand, in the short term we’ll see amazing content finally make it’s way to Canada as they fight to attract that Hulu content.

  • Corey Hoffarth

    I am sure rogers and shaw won’t throttle netflix consumers either

  • youreallyhavenoclue

    I’ll stick with netflix – the ability with Hola! to access both Canadian and American netflix leaves shomi in the dust IMHO. If there is anything I can’t find on Canadian or American netflix there are these things called ‘torrents’ FYI 😉

  • FragilityG4

    Nice try.

  • Jon Holden

    Why would you go this direction when the answer is simple. Offer an online-only subscription that you can access from your iOS, Android, Windows devices, as well as computers. Work out deals with your content providers to over DVR and on-demand access to shows, and you would have a Hulu-on-speed solution.

  • Al

    30% Canadian content is a huge amount. Considering that, and the Netflix competition with its broad accessibility, this turkey is done before it’s even started. But what do you expect from a country who’s media content is dictated by the communist CRTC.

  • Chrome262

    I agree, forcing Canadian content rules is just making it harder for broadcasters. Its just so easy to get the content you want globally. its an out dated and silly rule, and explains why satellite radio for example is so popular here. Or VPN services. Cable companies, if not careful, will go the way of record labels and publishers. Refusing to see the writing on the wall.
    Also, while Rogers and Shaw can do whatever they want in terms of competing with the Netflix, I really just hope this doesn’t lead to throttling of Netflix.

  • FragilityG4

    I see with their interface they’re taking the Samsung approach to business ……

  • Jordan

    This is exactly what will happen. Slow down the competition to push users towards their service. This is the problem with having telecom companies hold every single media property in a country/province.

  • September 26, 2016: Rogers announces shomi is dead. http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/carriers/rogers/rogers-shomi-dead/