It seems Rogers and Shaw are now taking Netflix head on, as it was announced on Wednesday that the two telecommunication providers are planning to make their joint streaming service available to anyone with internet access in Canada. Appearing late last year, Shomi was originally created as a way to keep customers from joining the ever-growing trend of cancelling their traditional TV services in favour of on-demand streaming. It has only been available to t.v. and internet customers of Shaw and Rogers thus far, with this upcoming change hoping to attract more viewers.
The companies are virtually unfazed by the idea of going up against the streaming giant. David Asche, Shomi’s general manager said in an interview: “I’m convinced that our content offering is going to stand up, seventy per cent of the content that we have, not including kids programming, is exclusive. I think we’ll be successful on that front, whether it be competing against Netflix or even just against people’s time. People are going to want to watch good things. And we’re going to be there.” A spokesperson also mentioned that they are currently in the process of ‘working out a strategy’ for creating their own original content – much like Netflix’s highly successful original series (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, ect.)
It all sounds very promising, but we’ll have to sit tight for a little while. There isn’t yet a set date but Shomi’s new model is going to become available some time between July and the end of September, at $8.99 a month. The service will be able to be streamed on tablets, mobile and online platforms, Xbox 360, Apple TV, Chromecast, and for Rogers and Shaw TV subscribers – through their set-top boxes.
With more companies taking on Netflix, only one question remains: Will this mean it will have less content? TV and Movie titles are removed quite frequently due to other services like HBO Go making their content exclusive. Now that Shomi is joining the streaming war, does that mean they’ll be able to claim titles shared with Netflix as exclusives? Since Netflix Canada already has such a relatively small selection, I sure hope not.