Netflix Dumps Qwikster DVD-Only Business

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2011-10-10 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The DVD rental and media streaming company ditches its DVD-to-mail only business project, Qwikster.

Just weeks after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced the company would be separating its streaming service from its DVD mailing service, which would be called Qwikster, Hastings announced via a blog post that Qwikster will no longer be coming to market.

"It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs. This means no change: one website, one account, one password ... in other words, no Qwikster," he wrote. Members who would have subscribed to both services would have had two entries on their credit card statements, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix.

In July, the company caused an uproar among its subscribers (and Wall Street investors) when it essentially hiked prices by 60 percent after dropping the option of a $2-a-month unlimited DVD mailing package alongside an $8-a-month unlimited streaming package. While the company still offers an $8-a-month DVD shipping option, the removal of the $2 package effectively raised the price for customers who want to stream and get DVDs by mail to $16 from $10.

In an effort to soothe frustrations, Hastings issued an apology for the handling of the price hike and his lack of effective communication when explaining the change. "It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology," he said in a September blog post. "In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success."

In the most recent post, Hastings explained that price hikes were concluded ("We are now done with price changes") and added that the company continues to focus on improving its selection. When issuing his mea culpa in September, Hastings said the company needed to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolve, without having to maintain compatibility with its DVD by mail service-hence the Qwikster development.

"We value our members, and we are committed to making Netflix the best place to get movies and TV shows," he concluded in his most recent post.

 
 
 
 
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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