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Other providers watching closely as Shomi ceases operations: expert

Last Updated Sep 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm PDT

(Courtesy linkedin.com)

Expert says the online streaming market is changing quickly

Streaming service ends on November 30th

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Rogers and Shaw launched Shomi in 2014, in the hopes of capitalizing on those who were ditching traditional TV services in favour of video-on-demand. But less than two years later and it’s pulling the plug.

Yesterday the companies announced Shomi would cease operations as of November 30th.

“The business climate and online video marketplace have changed markedly in the last few years,” says David Asch, Shomi’s Senior Vice President and General Manager. “Combined with the fact that the business is more challenging to operate than we expected, we’ve decided to wind down our operations.”

SFU Professor Dr. Richard Smith says services like CraveTV will be keeping a close eye on what’s happening with Shomi. “Each of these services, other than Netflix, have big corporate backers behind them who can stem the tide of losses for a period of time but eventually they decide to pack it in.”

“CraveTV has grown quickly since its launch in 2014, says Bell Media’s Scott Henderson. “We’ll continue to invest in new CraveTV programming and technology innovation, commissioning more original Canadian productions.”

Smith notes sometimes it doesn’t matter if the parent companies aren’t making much money because it’s more important to be able to offer the service within their portfolio but that can only go on for so long. “No one is very secure in these worlds, but it can be a situation where the big person stays big and the little guys have a really hard time catching up.”

“It is the people who can pull together quite a broad offering and the bigger you are the bigger chance you have of doing that and also the content is quite often licensed on an exclusive basis so if Netflix gets it than Shomi doesn’t get it,” he adds.

Bell Media’s Scott Henderson with Bell Media. We’ll continue to invest in new CraveTV programming and technology innovation, commissioning more original Canadian productions (like Letterkenny, and Russell Peters is the Indian Detective), and building upon our partnerships with HBO, SHOWTIME, and other premium content brands.”

Current Shomi subscribers can keep streaming shows and movies online, via their Shaw or Rogers set-top box, on select tablets, mobile devices, and game consoles.

Rogers is the parent company of NEWS 1130.