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