Can ‘Shomi’ Show Up Netflix In Canada?

Shomi, the multiscreen subscription video-on-demand service from Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, launched in beta form last Tuesday (Nov. 4) more than two months after the Canadian cable firms revealed their plans for it.

With some of the early technical calisthenics completed, now comes another tough task: Showing the rest of the world that an MVPD-backed premium subscription video-on-demand service can survive, let alone thrive, in an over-the-top market dominated by Netflix. Based on recent results south of Canada’s border, Rogers and Shaw have a tall task ahead of them.

Comcast, for example, is decommissioning its Streampix mobile applications and the Streampix website and will stop selling the service to broadband-only customers.

Redbox Instant by Verizon, the Netflix-like subscription multiscreen video service managed by Verizon Communications and Outerwall, due to low demand.

To help prime the pump, Rogers and Shaw will offer 30-day free trials to eligible customers. Rogers said about 500,000 high-speed Internet customers (those on its Hybrid Fibre 50, Hybrid Fibre 60 and Extreme tiers or above) will get shomi bundled in automatically until March 31, 2015. The MSOs are selling shomi for $8.99 per month ($7.87 U.S.)