Canadian SVOD service Shomi announced today that it will be shutting down, effective Nov. 30, 2016.
“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. Asch, SVP and GM of Shomi, in a statement. “We’re proud of the great service we created and the role we played in the evolution of Canada’s video landscape.”
A joint venture from Canadian telcos Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications launched in Nov. 2014, Shomi was originally available only to its cable and internet customers. But in Aug. 2015 it was made available to all Canadians for $8.99/month, which was the same price as Netflix Canada at the time.
Shomi also faced competition from Crave TV, a streaming service launched in Dece. 2014 by Canada’s Bell Media. Similar to Shomi, it was originally available only to subscribers of participating cable and satellite providers, but in Jan. 2016 it became available to all Canadians for $7.99/month, undercutting both Shomi and Netflix Canada (which this year raised its price to $9.99/month).
CraveTV lacks the studio movies found on Shomi and Netflix Canada, which had a much more limited selection than its U.S. counterpart, but it does have the exclusive rights to HBO’s back catalog in Canada.
Shomi differentiates itself by using live humans to curate a selection of recommendations that fit users’ tastes, while CraveTV, like Netflix, uses software to generate recommendations. Once again, the machines win.