Shomi Partnership / Rogers Communication Inc. (RIC)

Canada’s New Human Curated Video Streaming Service

Method worked with RCI one of the largest communications companies in Canada, on the launch of their new streaming video on demand service, shomi. Rogers came to Method for branding, identity, naming and full product experience for an eventual rollout across web, tablet, Xbox and cable set-top boxes. The team also provided ongoing brand guardianship, as well as strategic council as Rogers approached launch. The service successfully launched on November 4th, 2014 to critical and commercial acclaim.

Challenge

With stiff competition from US based video streaming services like Netflix, the challenge of the project was to create a brand personality and identity that would differentiate them from their competitors and then extend that personality to the product experience. Creating a stand-alone brand not tied to Rogers, we were able create something novel and innovative. This has created a lot of positive press and sentiment for Rogers. As well as generating positive press and sentiment, shomi also represents a new revenue stream for Rogers and also acts as an engagement and retention tool.

Approach

When people think about TV and video experiences what they care about is watching great content. They value interaction and interface but not more than the content itself. Method helped Rogers create a brand based on two basic elements; their superior library of highly curated content and the enthusiastic video lovers that make up their team. We avoided gimmicks by focusing on their curators and content. Rather than relying on an unreliable algorithm approach to recommendations as much of their competition does we focused on the human element.

Part of communicating the brand was the creation of a unique tone of voice for both the product itself, marketing materials and advertising. This was created alongside traditional brand guidelines and was delivered to the shomi team for their ongoing use.

Reinforcing the differentiators, the team outlined a distinct brand identity based on the concept of a service ‘created by people who love entertainment for people who love being entertained’.

The human curation concept starts with the shomi team (writers, producers, entertainment lovers) and extends to directors, actors, bloggers, and beyond, creating an entertainment community that enhances the value to shomi members over time.

Method worked with naming firm Catchword to develop a name for the new product. The final name and brand identity is rooted in a simple imperative. shomi is a request to start a conversation about entertainment. The request can be as big or as small as the user wants from the functional ‘shomi_the_next_episode’ to the emotional ‘shomi_a_surprise’. shomi as an idea is something that can run and run - it works within the product to provide functionality, wayfinding and a playful edge. It is also flexible enough to work within a wider brand campaign and advertising.

Outcome

The final product concept is a union of art and science that matches smart technology with passionate entertainment lovers. The resulting brand differentiators include an emotional brand position, powerful user partnerships, curated content, a visually compelling user interface, and distribution that allows users several ways to engage with the product.

Method’s work with Rogers also represents the successful collaboration of a large communications company with an experience design agency, bringing together elements of business, technology and design to create a successful streaming video on demand service.

shomi officially launched on November 4th, 2014 with more than 12,000 hours of streamable content to critical and commercial success. The success of shomi has opened doors for collaboration with other communications platforms: Netflix and shomi have partnered to deliver the drama ‘Between’ to Canadian audiences.

Key Headlines

  • Globe and MailRogers, Shaw face Netflix head-on by making shomi available to everyone
  • BloombergRogers opens shomi to all, increasing competition with Netflix
  • ET CanadaSummer TV will heat up when shomi launches Canada-wide
  • Financial PostShaw and Rogers offer streaming service shomi to all Canadians for $8.99, same as Netflix
  • Canadian PressShaw and Rogers streaming service shomi now available to all Canadians

Key Sound Bites

  • Globe and Mailshomi’s move shakes up the streaming game in Canada as it steps into Netflix’s territory
  • Globe and MailThe fight for online audiences in Canada is heating up as Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. say they will make their television streaming service shomi directly available over the Internet, putting them into more head-on competition with Netflix Inc. Until late last year, Canadians had no homegrown alternative to the U.S.-based leader in streaming services, which lets customers watch an unlimited amount of its television and movie content for a flat monthly subscription fee.
  • Financial PostAfter six months of testing on cable and Internet subscribers of Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc., the pair's online video streaming service shomi is ditching its training wheels and pledging to make itself available this summer to all Canadians - even if they're clients of another telco.
  • Canadian Pressshomi is getting ready to turn up the heat on Netflix and Bell Media’s Crave TV.
  • Toronto SunThe stream is getting stronger.
  • CARTTHeads up binge watchers, here comes shomi.
  • Hollywood ReporterCanadian cable giants Shaw Media and Rogers Media are expanding their upstart streaming service shomi in a move that amps up the competition against Netflix Canada.
  • ET CanadaFollowing a successful beta launch in November, Canadian streaming service shomi will soon be available to everyone in Canada, with a summertime direct-to-consumer launch that will offer all Canadians an extraordinary array of viewing choices to help beat the summertime TV blues.
  • Globe and MailThe move to offer shomi... marks the latest step in the maturation of an online video market shaped by Netflix Inc. that is now attracting a range of new players.
  • HELLO CanadaTelevision and movie fans have another outlet to watch their favourite titles, now that the streaming site shomi is available to all Canadians.
  • The Wire ReportI think the world we're evolving into is a world where people have multiple OTT [services]