Shomi

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Shomi Partnership
Shomi-logo.png
Type Joint venture
Founded August 2014
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°40′20″N 79°22′44″W / 43.6722701°N 79.3788775°W / 43.6722701; -79.3788775Coordinates: 43°40′20″N 79°22′44″W / 43.6722701°N 79.3788775°W / 43.6722701; -79.3788775
Area served Canada
Key people David Asch (President/General Manager)
Marni Shulman (Senior Director, Head of Programming)
Owner Rogers Communications
Shaw Communications
Slogan(s) What's Good
Website [http:/www.shomi.com/ shomi.com]
Type of site Video on demand
Launched November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)
Current status

Active

Leo David Sanchez (Heir)

Shomi (pronounced like "show me", stylized as shomi) is a Canadian subscription video on demand service jointly owned by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. The service is viewed as a Canadian-based competitor to Netflix, with a library of 1,200 films and 11,000 hours worth of television programs available on launch.[1] Shomi content can be accessed as an over-the-top service through the service's website and apps, or through the video on demand libraries of participating television providers. The service emphasizes manually curated categories of content, in contrast to the algorithmic approach used by competing services.

As of its beta launch on November 4, 2014, the service was not available as a standalone product and could only be purchased by internet and television subscribers of Rogers and Shaw. Since August 20, 2015, this restriction has been removed, and the service is available standalone. It competes directly with other subscription-based over-the-top streaming services, such as Bell Media's CraveTV.

Distribution[edit]

Shomi is available via the video on demand library of subscribers' set-top boxes, and as an over-the-top service via its website, mobile apps, video game consoles, and other devices.[2] The service is priced at $8.99 per month;[2][3] for its beta phase, Shomi was only available to those who are customers of Rogers and Shaw's internet or cable television services. A Rogers representative stated that the venture was "evaluating various distribution models" and was in talks with other television providers.[4] As of August 20, 2015, Shomi is available as a standalone service and is no longer exclusive to Rogers or Shaw customers.[5][6] In October 2015, Shaw Direct added Shomi to the lineup. [7]

Content[edit]

At its initial launch, the service offered 340 television series (11,000 hours) and 1,200 movies.[3] Rather than using computer algorithms for suggesting content that a viewer may be interested in based on past viewing habits, Shomi content is divided into manually curated categories.[2][3]

In October 2014, the service announced a content deal with the American premium cable service Starz, which will see some of that channel's original series, including Power, Survivor's Remorse, Black Sails, The White Queen, Spartacus and Da Vinci's Demons, distributed through the service.[8] The same month, Shomi announced Between, a new original drama produced in collaboration with Netflix and Rogers-owned network City. As per the co-production, the series is distributed internationally by Netflix, but is a timed exclusive to Shomi in Canada.[9][10]

In 2015, the service announced its addition of the Amazon Prime web series Transparent[11] (as of 2015, Amazon Prime streaming programming is not accessible from Canada).

Criticism[edit]

In February 2015, the Consumers’ Association of Canada and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) about Shomi and Bell Media's competing service CraveTV, arguing that their exclusivity primarily to those who are subscribers of their respective owners' television services was a form of tied selling that "[discriminates] against customers who wish to only view programming through an Internet service provider of their choice".[4]

On March 12, 2015, the CRTC announced new proposed regulations for video on demand services, creating a new category for "hybrid online video-on-demand" services between unregulated digital services and licensed video on demand services offered by providers, which are not allowed to offer "exclusive" content, and are also subject to genre protection and Canadian content rules. These services would not be bound to the aforementioned rules, including the ability to offer "exclusive" content, and can be made accessible within a television provider's video on demand system, but they must be also offered over-the-top on a standalone basis without a television subscription.[12][13] The CRTC did not explicitly state whether CraveTV or Shomi would be classified as a "hybrid" VOD service under its proposed regulations, thus requiring them to offer their service on a standalone basis.[12] Shomi announced in May 2015 that it would begin offering its service as a standalone product later in the year.[5]

In June 2015, Eastlink and Telus also filed a complaint with the CRTC against Shomi, arguing that the exclusivity period to Rogers and Shaw subscribers gave the two companies an unfair advantage, as they do not operate in all areas of the country, and no other third-party provider had offered it. The complaint alleged that the partnership had purposely frustrated attempts by third-party providers to negotiate deals to offer Shomi through various means, including providing limited notice of its launch (in contrast to CraveTV, which provided more advance notice, giving time for providers to reach deals), and stalling attempts to negotiate carriage deals by refusing to send a full contract to Eastlink. The complaint concluded that the actions demonstrated Rogers and Shaw "had no intention of making Shomi available to independent [providers], and their customers, in a timely manner."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rogers, Shaw launch rival Netflix-like service Shomi". CBC News. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "shomi Available to Rogers & Shaw Internet and Cable Subscribers". Broadcaster Magazine. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Nicole Bogart (26 August 2014). "What is 'shomi' and how does it work?". Global News. Shaw Media. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Consumer groups challenge 'tied selling' of CraveTV, Shomi services" (The Globe and Mail). Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Shomi expands to anyone in Canada with internet connection, not just TV subscribers". Canadian Press. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Shomi set to go to wider audience". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  7. ^ http://www.shawdirect.ca/english/shomi/?intcid=ib-2015-10-15-shomi-Hero1-eng-shawdirect/
  8. ^ "shomi Partners with Starz Digital Media". Broadcaster, October 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Netflix, Rogers’ Shomi to partner on dramatic series". The Globe and Mail, October 20, 2014.
  10. ^ "Canadian drama series to debut on ‘shomi’ streaming service". Global News, October 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "TV series Transparent coming to Shomi". Toronto Star, January 12, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "CRTC proposes looser regulation if broadcasters offer CraveTV, Shomi to all Canadians". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Let's Talk TV: CRTC announces measures to support the creation of content made by Canadians for Canadian and global audiences". CRTC. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Shomi gave Rogers, Shaw an unfair head start, Telus and Eastlink argue". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 

External links[edit]