Moving ahead on a plan announced in May, shomi, the SVOD service jointly owned by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, has become available across Canada.
Shomi, a Netflix rival that launched in November 2014 under the beta label, was initially offered to Rogers and Shaw broadband or TV subs for C$8.99 per month. Shomi, now available at that price to other cable MSOs and ISPs, is offering the first month for free to new subs.
The service, powered by Comcast-owned online publishing firm thePlatform, supports several platforms, including the Apple TV, Google Chromecast streaming adapter, Web browsers, iOS and Android mobile devices, Rogers and Shaw set-tops, and the Xbox 360.
To tout the broader launch across Canada and drive interest in the service, shomi is running a contest that features a grand prize entertainment package that features an Android TV-powered, Sony 55-inch Ultra HD set, a Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablet, a Google Chromecast and year of shomi.
Shomi has not released subscriber figures, but the service “has exceeded all of our targets to-date,” an official said via email.
“Today is an epic day for Canadian entertainment lovers as we deliver on the promise we made to them back in May,” said shomi SVP and GM David Asch, the former Redbox, Frontier Communications and In Demand exec who took over the day-to-day operations of the Rogers-Shaw SVOD venture earlier this year. “We announced we would be moving in, and today we’ve arrived. shomi is now available to all Canadians.”
Shomi’s library includes series and titles such as Fresh off the Boat, Empire, Vikings, Transparent, Jane the Virgin, Outlander, Sons of Anarchy, Black Sails, and iZombie. Among features, Marni Shulman, shomi’s head of content and programming, provides her personal picks in curated collections, including a shomi Starter Kit.
In addition to Netflix, shomi is also contending with CraveTV, a $4 per month OTT service from Bell Media that is also distributed through partners such as Telus, Eastlink and Sasktel.