septembre 9, 2015
- 1stonline video subscription service in Canada (SVOD)
- Joint initiative of Rogers and Shaw Media
- Launch date: November 2014
- Open to all Canadian for subscription since August 2015
- Represents 11,000 hours of content
- More than 1,200 movies
- 14,000 episodes of more than 340 TV Shows
- Available on various devices including tablets, phones, Xbox 360 consoles and set-top TV boxes
The Online video service Shomi was made available to anyone in Canada starting August 20 2015. Launched in Beta version in November 2014, Shomi was initially created exclusively for Rogers and Shaw subscribers. Shomi, as well as its Canadian competitor, Bell Media’s Crave TV, were created to counter the growing presence of Netflix in Canada. This summer, David Ash, Shomi General Manager, announced a 55% increase in the number of videos on the platform.
The Shomi content strategy
Shomi has some of the most watched drama in Canada in its catalog (NCIS and its spin-off NCIS Los Angeles). The Shomi content strategy is focused on recent or current TV shows, primarily hit shows from the US. Most of its content deals are generally two-year licenses, mostly with the US (CBS and Starz), but Canadian DHX Media and Corus Entertainment provide kids content. Shomi claims that 70% of its content is exclusive in Canada such as the deal with Amazon for the acclaimed series Transparent. And in an interesting move, Shomi inked a deal with Netflix to co-produce a Canadian Sci-Fi series in 2014.
As a new platform, Shomi doesn’t have the same algorithmic power that Netflix has for recommending content. Building a recommendation engine takes time and a large dynamic user database. Shomi has committed to “ human” curation using a combination of technology and people to power their curation system. The online platform is focused on providing a good user experience and has a content team of between 10 and 15 people who craft themed collections.
The future of OTT services
With the exception of the NFB, Canada is a relative late-comer to online streaming services and it is likely that Shomi and CraveTV are just a first step. Chris Pelley, Rogers’ Head of Content and Programming thinks that Shomi is not meant to “replace Netflix in people’s lives, but augment it”. With Apple announcing the production of original content, Shomi and other online subscriber video services face even more competition in an industry where audience and revenue are split over multiple