Canadian streaming service shomi announced Monday (September 26) that it will be shutting down operations as of November 30, 2016. The venture was launched in November 2014 by Rogers and Shaw to take on Netflix. Bell Media later followed with CraveTV.
“We’re really grateful to Canadians who enthusiastically invited us into their living rooms and took us with them on their phones, tablets and laptops,” said David Asch, Senior Vice President and General Manager of shomi. “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. We’re proud of the great service we created and the role we played in the evolution of Canada’s video landscape.”
shomi was the place Canadians could watch Hulu hit Difficult People and it even became the home of Fox’s Empire after being dropped by City earlier this year. The streaming service also offered a number of Amazon Prime hits (Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent).
There have been rumours that Amazon Prime could be moving into the Canadian marketplace — the move would have removed this content library from shomi and made it even more difficult to compete with other services with the lack of exclusive content. Shows on Amazon Prime that have not (legally) entered Canada include U.K. hit Fleabag, ’80s-set comedy Red Oaks and the Vancouver-shot The Man in the High Castle.