Qwikster is Dead; Long Live Netflix?

netflix_hastings.jpgNetflix CEO Reed Hastings probably wasn't prepared for the earful (or Internetz-full) he received last month when he announced plans to spin-off Netflix's DVD rentals into a new company called Qwikster. "It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult," he wrote in a blog post today. "So we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs." Read on for more flip-flopping, and rejoice?

Hastings kept it short and sweet in Monday's follow-up post, explaining that Qwikster, which was intended to have its own separate website requiring separate log-in information and film queues, will basically just not exist at all.

"This means no change: one website, one account, one password... in other words, no Qwikster."


"While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes."

Kudos to Hastings to listening to the people. But seriously; wasn't the hubbub going to die down eventually? Shouldn't he have stuck to his guns, if streaming is indeed the future? Moot questions at this point -- unless Hastings has yet more changes of heart. And time will tell if his initial instinct to stay on the forefront of a changing market was the right, if unpopular, choice.

Meanwhile: Looks like @Qwikster can go back to Tweeting about girls and being bored in school about 10,000 followers richer.

[Netflix via Deadline]


  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Hastings should run for office.

  • Kate says:

    Don't you get it? There was NEVER intended to be any Qwikster. The backlash against Netflix for jacking their price so high, especially during hard economic times, was much bigger than Netflix anticipated. They were so arrogant. Their stock was dropping, they needed to say something. So they came up with this bogus story that the price-jack was because they were splitting the company. Splitting the company never made sense. Companies thrive on making things "simple" for their customers, not more difficult. So a month later they conviently "decide" not to split, but keep the price hike. Now they appear benevolent to consumers. They "listened" to their customers and decided NOT to split while saying quickly under their breaths that the price hike is still necessary. It's the classic card-shark switcharoo: don't look over here where we gouged you for double the money; look over here where we're making things easier by NOT splitting the company, just for you, our valued customers. Very clever, Netflix.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Brilliant conspiracy theory! Explains why they never strong-armed that Twitter handle away from that kid.

  • Kate says:

    Addendum - If it was true that the only reason they raised their prices was because they were splitting, then it would make sense for them to come down on price, even a small portion, if they weren't breaking off into two companies. Isn't it clear there was no intent to split by the fact that they DIDN'T lower their prices, even minutely? I hope consumers aren't gullible enough to believe this stupidly contrived story.

  • Allan says:

    Streaming can still be the future without complicating your business and alienating consumers. Also, streaming via Netflix will never be the future and Netflix will be overtaken by competitors if they are unable to get new movies on the streaming service around the same time they come out on DVD or Pay-Per-View.
    One can only stream Tremors II and Troop Beverly Hills so much before they start to yearn for a movie that has come out within the last 60 days. That's where the DVD-by-mail service saves them.

  • CiscoMan says:

    This is somewhat in keeping with Hastings' previous actions. I remember a few years back when they decided, for vague "operations will be smoother" reasons, that they'd eliminite the multiple queues on one account feature. After a similar outcry, Netflix caved and said "Okay, sorry, just kidding."
    Basically, this is at least the 2nd time that Netflix has put internal business operations over the needs of customers, then realized they should listen to their customers.

  • miles silverberg says:

    I had a 2-DVDs-at-a-time plan a while back; after I wasn't using it often enough, I went to 1-DVD plan. When they announced the price hike, I went to streaming only.
    All this other fake drama isn't changing that. The price is too high to include DVDs in the mix. What all these subscription companies seem to fail to understand is that, while they think that paying them $15 a month isn't that much, there are dozens of other services out these with the same thought. After a while, you have to budget just how much and too whom you are going to toss subscription money to. $9 a month was feasible for me; $15 isn't.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Kate is so right Jen, for realz. Also, really, enough w/ the Human Centipede stuff, really. If I want to approximate the effect I'll just go view the tapes from that human/horse sex farm outside of town.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    I'm tapped out on HC2 too, but point taken. And you didn't even have to watch it!
    But what's this about horses? I LOVE HORSES!

  • j'accuse! says:

    Good to know the feeling is mutual haha. Way to take one for the team!
    To answer your question about horses, they had this awful farm outside of Seattle where they let people have sex w/ horses. A guy died after, erm, getting what he wanted there and they made a doc about it and showed it at Sundance and Cannes and stuff. Gross, like HC2.

  • Jen Yamato says:

    Oh no way, you live near the dude from ZOO?! I sat in the very front row at its Sundance premiere. Imagine the experience of having to crane your neck up at the screen to see those shenanigans recreated on the big screen...
    In other words, totally hot.

  • j'accuse! says:

    Haha. Yup, I'm in weird, grey Seattle. You deserve major props for sitting through that business.
    (Also, you win internet for making me laugh so hard I sprayed a little of my drink and Jess totally hearted your description of Zoo.)

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