Entertainment

Will Shomi defeat Netflix? Can it? (VIDEO)

Netflix is a monster, the sort of new-age service that caters to the consumer and the ease of its own interface while also scaring the antennas off networks and anyone dependant on the business of broadcast.

The streaming behemoth – which gives Canadian and American subscribers access to a host of television series and movies for the cost of $7.99 a month – now produces its own content as well, from Emmy-nominated heavyweights like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black to the fourth season of Arrested Development and a new cartoon comedy called BoJack Horseman.

Everything listed above has changed the way in which we viewers approach content, no longer needing to break the law through Pirate Bay or Kazaa or Limewire to watch Californication or The Hunger Games. And Yahoo is also dipping its exclamation mark into the content game, most notably reviving Community for its sixth season, soon to be release (for free) online.

So maybe that's why Rogers and Shaw are teaming up to package their own star-studded lineups, with a new streaming subscription program called 'Shomi' that was unveiled on Tuesday.

The service will be available to Rogers and Shaw Internet and TV customers, and will reportedly charge $8.99 a month for a lineup of (right now) 240 TV series and 1,200 movies, although you can of course expect a lot of overlap with the content Netflix already offers.

Because it's a Canadian service, 30 per cent of the content will also be Canadian.

While Shomi will perhaps be a revolutionary offering from a cable company or legacy corporation – American networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS and their providers are still fumbling around the digital briar patch – the service's corporate tagline carries a familiar message, that binge watching is winning and – for the customer – choice is as king as the content is.

"We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley, in a statement.

"They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy."

It should be noted, in the video above and in the companies' release party yesterday, Netflix was hardly directly mentioned as Shomi's official enemy.

But a simple glance at Shomi's screen and scrolling is hand-eye evidence that this is their answer to the low-cost California-based company's monopoly.

"I think that the user interface we have is better," said Pelley, referencing Shomi and its competition. "I think the content that we have is very compelling to Canadian consumers, and I think that the creation we did with our collections is stronger.

"I think it's impossible for one service to have all the content... the ability to have live people and real people as entertainment, the new-age video clerks was, I think, that was deemed in the research."

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