In an age of high speeds at high demand, online streaming services are very quickly becoming the preferred source of movies and television shows. The obvious juggernaut of the streaming world is Netflix, which as of 2015 has amassed over 70 million subscribers worldwide. This company was founded in 1997, and has survived the transition between an era of DVD rental to online instant streaming, which many others such as Blockbuster failed to do. Competing with a provider already supported by such an established user base is proving difficult for rival companies, and Canadian run provider Shomi has recently seceded from the race. Apple TV Menu, Digital Image. Howtogeek.com. 04/19/15
In being a collaboration between prominent enterprises Shaw and Rogers, Shomi had the potential to be a strong player in the streaming industry, but didn’t reach as far as it could have. While it offered a wide variety of shows and movies, Shomi did not produce enough of their own content that could not be obtained elsewhere. The thousands of hours of original content available to their customers is what differentiates Netflix from it’s competitors. Shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are household names, and having the monopoly on their broadcast is one of the reasons Netflix is so successful.
Shomi logo, Digital image. Access Winnipeg. 09/28/16
Aside from an increase in unique content, I believe Shomi could also have set themselves apart from rivals by lowering their prices. A main reason aside from convenience that people are moving away from cable and satellite towards streaming services is expenses. With Shomi priced at $8.99 a month, cost is not a factor potential customers would take into consideration when choosing between this service and Netflix, which charges the same. By lowering their monthly subscription fee, and displaying cost leadership, Shomi might have had more success by appealing to a more cost-conscious audience. While this may have decreased income directly from customers, adding minimal advertising in the service could have made it viable. Music streaming service Spotify has incorporated this idea into their value propositions, offering free streaming with the setback of advertisements and use only with internet connection. For many people this option is nevertheless attractive, and the company is making money.
Netflix has very successfully filled an extremely wide niche, leaving little room for competitors who do not differentiate themselves sufficiently. Failure to reach this standard is the reason that similar companies are struggling to keep up, and why Canadian streaming company Shomi has been completely pushed out of the market.