Rogers and Shaw launch “shomi” to compete with Netflix

Canadians now have another alternative to Netflix. Shaw Communications Inc. and Rogers have partnered up and launched a new service called shomi that directly competes with the online the entertainment giant Netflix.

The service, which launched on Tuesday in Canada, is very similar to Netflix, but has a different look, features integrated viewer profiles and has more parental controls.

In a similar fashion to Netflix, people can use shomi on their computers, tablets, game consoles, phones, and TV’s. Shomi offers a free month trial after which people can continue to use the service for $8.99 per month(a dollar more than Netflix).

Shaw internet customers will be able to get an extra 2 months for free and Rogers Extreme Internet or Hybrid Fibre 50 and 60 customers will have shomi included in their packages until March 31, 2015.

Not everyone will have access to shomi though. In order to have the service you need to be an existing Rogers or Shaw customer and add the service to your existing account – as opposed to signing up and creating a whole new account just for the service.

This could attract more people to use Shaw and Rogers services. However, it also limits the service’s market share in Canada as Netflix is available for anyone to subscribe to – regardless of what provider you use.

According to a post on the shomi website:

“shomi is a brand new kind of subscription video streaming service curated by people who love popcorn and magic. shomi makes getting video entertainment nearly as enjoyable as watching it. Combining the passion and knowledge of our entertainment experts with the power of technology, shomi offers recommendations and collections that help our members always find something good to watch. We are made in Canada.”

shomi website

The homepage.

Could this be a Netflix killer in the Canadian market? Unlikely, though it will probably manage to poach a few of Netflix’s existing customers.