Rogers Pulls the Plug on Shomi: Set to Lose Up to $140 Million in Q3

Have you been watching shomi, the joint streaming venture between Rogers and Shaw? Think again if you were just starting to like it, because the service is set to end.

In a surprise announcement, Rogers this afternoon said it is pulling the plug on the streaming service, set to end on November 30, 2016. The company is set to lose roughly $100-140 million in the third quarter (ending on Sept. 30, 2016) due to shomi and its ongoing investments and future liabilities. Those numbers are what was rumoured to have been spent on content deals.

“We tried something new, and customers who used shomi loved it. 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,” said Melani Griffith, Senior Vice President, Content, Rogers. “We will be reaching out to eligible customers in the coming days as we have a wide range of premium experiences available for people to enjoy.”

Rogers’ shomi made its way onto Apple TV last spring, but even that has not helped the streaming service, which is competing with juggernaut Netflix, and rival Bell Media’s CraveTV. The service made its way to Sony’s PS4 this January, but that didn’t last long at all.

Shomi launched in the fall of 2014, with lofty ambitions to target cord-cutters who were moving onto Netflix. The service was then bundled into mobile phone plans to entice contracts, but even then, it was questionable to as just how many paying users the service had.

According to The Globe and Mail, Rogers and Shaw hired Toronto’s Level5 Strategy Group on the brand, and Method Design in New York for the visual design. They came up with 2,173 possible names in nine months, with possible names considered such as Camio or Curio.

Looks like Rogers realized it did not make sense to continue with shomi, given the competition from established players like Netflix. It’s hard to say we didn’t see this coming—is CraveTV next?

…more to follow

Thanks Joe

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

  • JB

    Thanks actually a bit disappointing. It’s not like all the properties licensed to Rogers will suddenly be made available on Netflix… they just won’t be available for legal online streaming in Canada. Hopefully I’m wrong.

  • MikeJenkinson

    Shomi … a money losing proposition.

    (I’ll see myself out.)

  • OliChabot

    I had a 2 year subscription with my ShareEverything plan with Rogers… I hope I’ll be able to trade it for something else… Like Spotify prenium ?

  • Many99

    Not sure if I should laugh at Rogers or should I laugh hysterically at Rogers

  • Gary Bowen

    Ha, you beat me to it! I was thinking “Shomi… Netflix”. (I’ll join you on the way out.)

  • MikeJenkinson

    The judges will also accept that answer!

  • Quattro

    I was just about to cancel my subscription anyway.

  • Bob Zmuda

    Nice! One down… one more to go.

  • Mark Holoubek

    I thought it was rather odd that Rogers had started promoting Netflix subscriptions the past week. Now we know why…

  • CMfly

    I hope Amazon will start adding their video service to Prime in Canada now…

  • sukisszoze

    Well, competing against Netflix but did not have enough value proposition for viewers to sh*t Sherlock!

  • LadeeDa

    This is great news for providers of those little black Android boxes. We just need a reputable company to distribute them and provide software support without costing a lot of money.

  • CH

    Been gettting it for free since launch. I wouldn’t have bought it. Have watched maybe 3 hours of stuff.

  • letsGetItRight

    Yes you can starting yesterday.

  • letsGetItRight

    Was offered to me free. Didn’t even bother. Tells you something when it’s offered free and nobody even bothered to use it

  • Kirk

    Had this service bundled for free with my internet plan. Watched some shows on it like married with children.. but honestly I was on nextflix way more. They did have a few exclusive stuff though… wonder if these shows will make its way to Netflix?

  • Scott

    Is it just me or does Rogers seem to pull the plug lately on most of their new services they try to introduce. Might be a better strategy to stick to improving their core services.

  • erth

    this just shows that competition is hard when focused globally. this is why rogers/bell/telus do not want the american companies here. they will not know how to compete. and then go bankrupt. a closed canada is a good canada for these companies.

  • Michal

    beat me by 2 hrs :/
    will not miss this at all, sadly.

  • Kinda saw this coming.
    The Rogers rep screwed up about 3 months ago.
    They were trying to convince me to switch to Rogers, and he offered Shomi and Netflix free for 2 years.

    I questioned why both, ;84 they not believe in Shomi anymore? He kinda evaded the question, but you kinda knew something was going on when they offer a competitor for free as well

  • Widohmaker

    Got it for free as part of my Cable package from 2 years ago. Use it occasionaly but noticed that sound quality is worse than Netflix (no 5.1) . It’s not that its a bad service it’s just that it had a bad roll out and poor marketing associated with it.

  • Ian Geoffrey Minton

    I’ve watched quite a few shows on Shomi since getting it for free with my internet package but I always wondered why they didn’t program the Apple TV app to show you when you had watched an episode. Maybe I completely missed it but either way the delivery was poor despite having some great content.

  • jabohn

    Well now I know what Shaw’s internet price increase was covering this year…

  • Shibu Thomas

    That’s right, didn’t even think of that…

  • OliChabot

    could you explain me how ?