Rogers and Shaw announce shutdown of Shomi

Shomi, the streaming platform launched by Rogers and Shaw, will shut down on November 30, throwing in the towel in its battle with the American-based Netflix. The service, which was launched nearly two years ago, never managed to draw the type of market share it needed to compete with its US counterpart.

"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," said David Asch, Senior Vice President and GM of Shomi in a press release.

The companies have bled a lot of money in carrying the under-viewed service. Rogers will take a loss of $140 million in its third quarter related to the cost of Shomi and its subsequent retirement.

"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 for Rogers.

Bell's streaming service craveTV will continue as a Canadian alternative to Netflix, though market competition is extremely high. The global streaming market is massive, but it's monopolized by a small group of American companies including Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.

UPDATE: The original title of this article has been changed to reflect feedback from Aaron Lazarus, Senior Director of Public Affairs at Rogers. Lazarus kindly wrote us to explain the nuance missing in our original headline as follows:

I am writing to request a change to your headline re shomi as the current one is false. Rogers did not shut down shomi. The streaming service is a joint venture of two equal partners, Shaw and Rogers. The service itself announced the wind down in a news release issued at 4:15 this afternoon.

To say it was shut down "because of Netflix" is also not supported by any factual evidence. It would be fair to say there was a challenging business climate, or that there were not enough subscribers to sustain but neither shomi nor Shaw nor Rogers have ever said the wind down is attributable to Netflix.

Will you miss Shomi? Let us know in the comments.

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