Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix divorce: Qwikster to be DVD only and Netflix the stream option

Did you wake up to an email from Netflix's Reed Hastings?  In his email, Mr. Hastings apologizes for angering subscribers by splitting the DVD and stream services and charging for each, raising the cost enormously for a good many of us.  He apologized not for price hike, but for failing to communicate with subscribers in a more effective manner, going into details as to why the decision to divorce the two into Qwikster and Netflix was made. 

Citing the short-sightedness of Borders and AOL Dialup for failing to adapt and move forward with the next great thing to keep their business model's alive, Mr. Hastings explains that the decision to split the two services apart from each other was meant to ensure the future of Netflix streaming, while giving the dying DVD portion the ability to be marketed separately from stream via rebranding into Quikster.  He also promises no more price hikes, by stating:
"There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges."

Netflix is still receiving a barrage of complaints via their blog, where they added some meat to the email subscribers received to explain their reasoning for divorcing the two components better.  One big drawback will be that you'll need to search both sites for movies and TV series since once the services are cleaved apart into separate sites, you won't automatically be told when something you want to rent is available on stream.  Queue management will be a bit more tricky as a result.  Check out the comments --- and responses from Mr. Hastings --- on the Netflix blog.
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