Shomi cracks under the pressure of competing with Netflix

by | Oct 14, 2016 | Biz/Tech

Elvin George


Shomi never stood a chance in the war for viewer’s eyes.

The television and movie streaming service and competitor to Netflix is shutting down at the end of November.

Launched by cable giants Shaw and Rogers two years ago, Shomi only managed to get a subscriber count of 900,000, and couldn’t catch up to Netflix’s five million Canadian subscribers.

According to a Statista Infographic, Netflix continues to dominate video streaming, with a total of 69.1 million subscribers by the end of 2015, an explosion of viewers from the 26.5 million subscribers it had by the end of 2012.

Due to the limited cable access on campus, Humber students rely on Netflix as their go-to streaming service to watch their TV shows and movies.

Jerry Chomyn, head of media studies at the University of Guelph-Humber, is a Netflix user and says the streaming service made a revolutionary impact on the realm of watching television shows and movies.

“Netflix has been a powerful change agent to the way people watch television and I call this ‘disruptive innovation’ much like Uber or AirBnB,” Chomyn said. “It’s not only a way to watch television but it also has changed the television viewing paradigm.”

Chomyn praises Netflix’s’ success due to its creativity for being the first streaming service at that time.

“Being the first out of the gate is always the big advantage,” Chomyn said. “By the time others were onboard, Netflix was already established with a large client base.”

Julia De La Cruz (CHECK CAPS ON D AND L) , a fourth-year University of Guelph-Humber business student, is an avid Netflix subscriber and user for more than two years.

“I’ve been using Netflix because it’s so easy, and I know our generation of students have become too lazy to follow TV shows on a weekly basis.” De La Cruz, 22, said. “Most importantly, Netflix has an entire season of a show and doesn’t have people waiting week by week, that’s probably the main reason.”

Netflix has been producing a plethora of its own shows. Some of these shows revolve around Marvel universe characters like Daredevil and Luke Cage. While other shows dive into more serious realms exploring the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar in Narcos, or life in a minimum security women’s prison in Orange Is the New Black.

Complete seasons are released in full, allowing viewers to indulge in the growing phenomenon of binge watching.

Netflix’s drive in producing exclusive shows garnered it 24 Emmy awards.

Romeo Teixeira, 20, a first-year Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) student at Humber College, praises Netflix for being his best friend because it fits into his self-described ‘lazy’ lifestyle.

“My love for Netflix grows year after year,” Teixeira said. “No way any other streaming service compares because Netflix creates their own shows that are unbelievable.

“If you go to a group of students at least one of them has watched either House of Cards, Narcos, Orange is the New Black, and Stranger Things,” he said.