updated 08:20 am EDT, Mon October 10, 2011
Netflix backtracks on Qwikster plans
Netflix chief Reed Hastings revealed in a post Monday morning that the company was reversing course on its decision to spin out its physical disc business as Qwikster. He positioned it as a direct reaction to an outcry from subscribers, who thought that the decision made access unnecessarily complicated. He didn't say whether this would drop plans for video game rentals but was direct.
"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," he said. "This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster."
He also stressed that the company was genuinely "done with price changes" after it hiked the cost of having both disc rentals and streaming to $16, much more than the $10 of before.
The move is likely to draw criticism of Netflix for making hasty decisions but also reflects views that separating the disc rentals was considered premature, if necessary at all. Internet streaming is increasingly an important part of the service and is presumed to eventually take over. However, many are still attached to Blu-ray and DVD as some studios refuse to provide videos for the Internet service.