Although the mobile apps have not been updated to reflect their new changes, you can sign up on Bell’s website for their CraveTV. The first month is free so you can decide whether it is really something you want before the $7.99 monthly fee kicks in. CraveTV features a Showtime Collection with shows like Ray Donovan, Billions, Homeland and Home Front and HBO Collection with shows like The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deadwood and Six Feet Under. They also have Canadian-exclusive shows like Seinfeld, Sex and the City and South Park – encouraging both the older and younger subscribers to sign up. CraveTV is battling US-owned Netflix – already subscribed to by 4 million Canadians, and Rogers and Shaw Communications’ Shomi subscription service. Both Netflix and Shomi charge $8.99 a month for their streaming services and Bell is hoping their cheaper price may draw some attention their way.
The competition is heating up for streaming TV and Rogers’ Shomi already has a jump on CraveTV – the press release for Shomi said it is “for entertainment lovers, by entertainment lovers.” It also has Kids and family-friendly programming and exclusive rights to titles such as Modern Family, Sleepy Hollow, Sons of Anarchy, 2 Broke Girls, 24: Live Another Day, and more. Shomi will have 14,000 episodes and titles – 11,000 hours of TV shows – 1,200 movies – 340 TV series – and 30-percent of the content is Canadian – TV shows and classic films. We do not know all of the statistics for CraveTV, but imagine that Bell will lease them shortly.
Much like Netflix, CraveTV breaks down the shows in many different categories as to what you may be ‘craving’ – Dramas, Comedies, Reality TV, Documentaries, Music, Sci-Fi, Crime and Mystery and Super Heroes. You can search alphabetically or search by typing in a name or partial name – actor or show title – and up will pop the possibilities. Unlike Netflix and Shomi, CraveTV concentrates more on TV shows rather than movies. Watching streaming shows rather than broadcast shows is gaining popularity – no commercials is a huge upside when watching TV shows as is the popular binge watching. Nobody wants to wait a week to watch the next episode of their favorite TV show…of course the downside is having to wait another season to watch new episodes.