According to BCE’s recently released Q3 2016 earnings, CraveTV, the Canadian telecom’s streaming service, now has over 1 million subscribers. It’s important to keep in mind that while many of these subscribers could have purchased a CraveTV subscription independently, some may also get the app bundled with their Fibe TV plan.
CraveTV’s main competitors in the Canadian streaming space are Netflix and Rogers and Shaw’s Shomi, the latter of which is set to shutter on November 30th a little over a year since its official launch. This led many to believe that CraveTV’s demise was imminent, though at least so far that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The service recently signed a deal with Showtime, adding the station’s back catalog as well as new content to CraveTV. As a result shows like Billions, Ray Donovan and The Affair are now available on CraveTV at no additional charge. In comparison, U.S.-exclusive streaming services like Hulu offer Showtime content but at an additional $8.99 USD (about $12 Canadian).
CraveTV has also invested in original content, something Shomi did not delve into, with originals like Letterkenny and the upcoming Russel Peters comedy, The Indian Detective. Along with originals, CraveTV also features HBO’s back catalog of content, allowing subscribers to watch older shows like Oz and The Wire, but not on-going programming like Game of Thrones.
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. Netflix has not released regional subscriber numbers for a number of years.
CraveTV is priced at $7.99/month for anyone who is not a Bell television subscriber, with Bell customers only paying $5.99 per month. Overall BCE reported $800 million in net earnings, a 1.1 percent increase from the $791 million it made the same period last year.