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Netflix drops plans to spin out DVDs under Qwikster

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.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006



    you made the right move.

  1. boris_cleto

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2002


    Too late

    The damage is already done and probably irreparable.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Done with price changes?

    What a boneheaded statement. Of course there will be future price increases. How does the CEO expect to follow through on this promise...other than sell off Netflix? Hmmmm???

    What the CEO doesn't understand is that people aren't upset with the price change....they are upset with the price increase with NO new content (of an value) and instead a loss of Sony and Starz content. While some folks will boo boo Starz content, the point is the same. If you lose content, you cannot raise the price and expect people to just stand by and take it.

    We cancelled our streaming service and added back in the DVD service (as of today, now that the Qwikster idea is dead).

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Good move

    The separation of the 2 made no sense considering the reason we stayed with it (recommendations and knowing which DVD's were available for instant viewing). See the power of the consumer? All that and NO government involvement. Let that be a lesson to people.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    Just a thought

    ".they are upset with the price increase with NO new content (of an value) "

    Hmmm, every shop??? The price of everything is going up. EVERYTHING. Sorry if you thing that most things on line should be free or close to it, but things cost money. POWER to run the shop, internet connection, the cost of postage (1$ per dvd round trip).

    Just a thought here.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006



    I looked up Blockbuster package. They are not any better.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    iPhone App

    I tried the NetFlix iPhone app last night -- I logged in to the site, was offered an opportunity to download the app, did so, had to log in again, and at that point was told the iPhone app only worked for people who had streaming as part of their account, and offered me the chance to upgrade my Netflix account. Instead, I deleted the useless Netflix app, went back to the web browser, and inconveniently added the movie I wanted to my queue. So ... the company is still eff yew see kay eee dee.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    The kitchen is getting too hot

    I suppose NetFlix CEO ripped a page from HP's 'strategic plan'.

  1. makemineamac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    I really don't get it...

    I don't know what people expect really. Anyone that is currently not 'living in the 90's', gets that these 2 services should be totally separate entities.

    The DVD business is going away. Hear that? Going away. Those that fear change better start hiding now.

    While the streaming content is nowhere near as powerful as the current DVD content, that will change over time, but it will take more money, better deals with content-owners, and will take patience from the user base.

    While Netflix certainly didn't properly prepare their customers for this change, it certainly makes sense longterm.

    And prices will likely need to go up at some point, something that also makes sense.

    And for those of us that use the Netflix App on a regular basis on our iPhones or iPad's, the content is pretty strong and the experience is a good one.

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