Shomi, the subscription VOD joint venture of Canadian service providers Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, announced Monday that the multiscreen streaming service will be shutting down operations as of Nov. 30.
Shomi, which has been competing in the market against SVOD rivals such as Netflix and CraveTV, launched across Canada in August 2015 and sold for C$8.99 per month. A beta version of shomi debuted in November 2014.
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David Asch, SVP and GM of shomi and an exec who is late of Redbox, Frontier Communications and InDemand Networks who took on the day-to-day of the service in mid-2015, said several factors contributed to the decision.
“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,” Asch said, in a statement. “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.”
Shomi’s been optimized to run on several platforms, including Shaw and Rogers set-top boxes, Web browsers, smartphones and tablets, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, the PlayStation 4, and Apple TV (via AirPlay). Earlier this month, shomi announced it had selected ThinkAnalytics for the service’s search and recommendation engine.
Shomi has not announced subscriber totals, but in an interview last fall (subscription required), Asch said the sub base was “ahead of where we expected them to be in our business plan.”
UPDATE: Shomi on Tuesday (Sept. 27) released a statement from Asch saying: “We recently approached 900K subs and even today we are not far off that number, which would likely make shomi a Top 10 service in North America.”
Asch had said last fall he was also hopeful that content Netflix did not have, such as Amazon original Transparent, would help shomi stand apart in the market.
Shomi recently released some other data points – 17,698 episodes available to stream, 118 total series available, and 143 million total video plays.
For fiscal Q3, Shaw disclosed it recorded a $51 million impairment of shomi.
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