Web streaming platform Shomi is shutting down as of November 30th according to its owners, Rogers and Shaw Communications.
In a press release sent out today, the carriers stated that the platform will wind down with service ending completely on November 30th, 2016. Rogers says that it expects to incur a loss on the investment amounting to approximately $100 million to $140 million in its third-quarter earnings ending on September 30th, 2016.
“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 of content at Rogers in a statement sent to MobileSyrup.
“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.”
Shomi launched officially during the summer of 2015 after a lengthy beta testing period that began in November of 2014. According to a recent report by Toronto’s Solutions Research Group (SRG), even combined, online streaming services CraveTV and Shomi only feature one-seventh of the number of subscribers streaming behemoth Netflix has in Canada.
“We’re really grateful to Canadians who enthusiastically invited us into their living rooms and took us with them on their phones, tablets and laptops,” said David Asch, senior vice-president and general manager of Shomi.
“The business climate and online video marketplace have changed markedly in the last few years. Combined with the fact that the business is more challenging to operate than we expected, we’ve decided to wind down our operations. We’re proud of the great service we created and the role we played in the evolution of Canada’s video landscape.”
Bell launched CraveTV, a service designed to rival Shomi, shortly after Rogers’ and Shaw’s platform left beta. CraveTV features many of HBO’s back catalogue of older content, including The Wire, OZ and Sex and the City, as well as Canadian-produced originals like Letterkenny.
In a statement sent to MobileSyrup, Bell Media’s vice president of communications, Scott Henderson, reaffirmed his company’s commitment to its streaming platform CraveTV.
“CraveTV has grown quickly since its launch in 2014, including our expansion of the service to all Canadians with an Internet account earlier this year. We’ll continue to invest in CraveTV programming and technology innovation, commissioning more original Canadian productions (like Letterkenny, and Russell Peters is the Indian Detective), and building upon our partnerships with HBO, Showtime, and other premium content brands,” said Henderson.
While Shomi is available on a variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Xbox One and desktop, the platform’s app offered a lackluster experience. The Shomi app is often slow to load and features a user interface that many consider harder to navigate than competing services like Netflix, though the same can also be said about CraveTV.
Shortly after Shomi’s initial launch, Rogers began bundling the streaming platform for free with a number of its services, though recently, the company began offering free Netflix Premium with some of its wireless offerings, perhaps as a precursor to the eventual closing of its own streaming platform.
When Shomi and CraveTV originally launched both services were only available to each company’s respective wireless subscribers, though a later CRTC ruling opened the platforms up to everyone.
Shomi is priced at $8.99 a month.