Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Media Entertainment

Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business 481

Posted by samzenpus
from the judgement-of-solomon dept.
Frankie70 writes "Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just dropped a bombshell. In the wake of a rapid decline in Netflix's stock price last week, Hastings is taking a bold step by separating the DVD and video streaming services. The DVD-by-mail service will now be called Qwikster, and the streaming service will maintain the Netflix brand."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Netflix Creates Qwikster For DVD Only Business

Comments Filter:
  • by garcia (6573) on Monday September 19, 2011 @08:54AM (#37439704) Homepage

    All I can keep thinking when I see that name is 'Quixtar'.

  • BIG Mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phorest (877315) on Monday September 19, 2011 @08:56AM (#37439716) Journal
    Nothing like killing off your brand in a hasty fashion. Although I'll be curious to see how they do this I doubt I'll be sticking around much longer.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Actually, I wonder if the reason is that half of it is losing money at a horrible pace, and by splitting the two, they can hopefully allow half the ship to keep sailing.

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        Which half? Streaming, to me, looks like the sinking ship. Once the content producers realize how successful Netflix has been, they'll all be demanding higher rates. Then, Netflix is going to cost as much as cable, often delivered over cable Internet to make it even sillier.

        • I think it's the opposite. Netflix is clearly putting everything down on streaming since that's what kept the household name. By showing content owners that the streaming subscriber base is much smaller than the DVD base, they'll be able to negotiate better deals for streaming content. Theoretically each service will have costs and prices that better reflect whose using them.

          • by JeffSh (71237)

            Why would they have to split into 2 different brands to show content providers that statistic? Doesn't make sense to me.

            • The split and renaming is clearly for the potential sell-off. I think they're getting ahead of themselves, but splitting the brands now also means completely separate negotiations and contracts with content owners.

          • by omnichad (1198475)

            I'll freely admit that streaming is the future. It's not the present, though. Big business moving and changing faster than the market is rare, but it's just as bad as moving too slowly. They're getting way ahead of themselves, and they're going to take as much as they can from your wallet while they prove themselves wrong.

          • Re:BIG Mistake (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Lumpy (12016) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:56AM (#37440574) Homepage

            You are falling for the fallacy that the CEO has a clue while in fact he is a complete moron.

            A major rate hike is only done by a complete and utter moron. You do smaller less noticeable hikes over time where people do not notice it. They would not have lost HALF the people that left if Netflix's leadership had any clue at all on how to run a business.

            • They estimate they are losing 4% of their subscriptions. They are easily making that money up from the price increases.

              I'm not saying it was a smart move, but it's going to make the company a lot more money.

            • by Amouth (879122)

              you mean like the cable company? that everyone hates? and only uses because it is the only option in their area?

              Netflix is what i switched to to get rid of cable, and it has worked fine.

              I can see their need to separate the two sides - and even at the current price it is worth it to us.

              if they start pulling the crap the cable companies do (say 50 cents a month per "authorized device" or the 10$ the cable charges) i will be walking away and just killing it completely.

              so far Netflix has done a good job give

    • by gatkinso (15975)

      Well, if you think about it "Netflix" is more apropos for a streaming service as opposed to a mail order business that happens to be conducted over the web.

      "Diskflix" would have been much better tho. Quikster?

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Right and the "flix", in something like DiskFlix, would have some brand recognition, which leads me to think that the experience with the service and or expected outcome for the business is not something they *want* associated with their brand.

      • by iteyoidar (972700)
        That's probably what they want, trying to get people to move away from mail to the streaming service. It's a choice between paying for something that sounds all futuristic and internety or something that sounds like a bargain-basement DVD service from Walmart. "BitTorrent" sounds way more futuristic to me though.
      • "Diskflix" would have been much better tho.

        Looks great on paper, but I assure you, in speaking that would end up "Dickflix" or even "Dickpics" in no time.

    • by residieu (577863)

      The name change is annoying, I can't see any benefit to "Qwikster" (Ok, whatever it does, it's fast. That or it makes me chocolate milk...)

      I just really see a loss of utility if they're splitting the websites. If I search for a movie, I want to see if it's available on DVD or streaming or both. If something's been sitting low and my queue, I want to be able to see quickly that it's become available on instant. I don't see what benefit to me there is to having to do all this from two different websites.

  • by Dr.bme (1677344) on Monday September 19, 2011 @08:59AM (#37439742)
    Wow, this is corporate stupidity at its finest. How exactly will this make more people subscribe? The only reason for this is that the CEO is freaked out about a stock drop and is overreacting. If anyone deserves to be fired it is the Netflix CEO. Everyone knows that the most powerful tool in business is brand recognition, and they are just throwing it away. From what I understand most of the people that dropped the DVD service did it because they weren't using it and it was just a good reason to do so. If anything this move will force more people to drop the DVD service as they will lose they que and no one will like having to pay 2 separate bills from same company. Way to go Netflix you just make a small problem much bigger by overreacting. I have a feeling that their stock is going to tank today.
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:06AM (#37439806) Homepage Journal

      If anyone deserves to be fired it is the Netflix CEO.

      This. Who's chairman of the board over there?

      They want me to maintain two queues, two bills, kill the functionality of auto-adding DVD queue videos to the stream, kill the prediction service, kill the history service, all because 5% of customers are complaining of the price increase?

      The shareholders need to demand new leadership immediately before all of their stock value evaporates.

      Well, there's one potential benefit - maybe Amazon will acquire Qwikster and we can be done with the boneheads who have killed the formerly great Netflix.

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        kill the functionality of auto-adding DVD queue videos to the stream, kill the prediction service, kill the history service

        That says it. I'm likely to be dropping streaming once this hits. Netflix DVD was really the only thing that mattered. I like having a one-stop place to look for all the rarer discs (or even popular movies that are never in-stock at Redbox). It was never about renting Rio or seeing the latest college comedy film. I don't really see anyone ready to take over their one-of-a-kind nich

        • by phorest (877315)

          I like having a one-stop place to look for all the rarer discs

          Indeed, that is my feeling as well. They do have a lot of DVD's available which will never be on streaming AFAICT.
          To get around that I have DirectTV with a bunch of DVR's and use their DirecTV2PC software to stream to any computer in the house.
          If you spend like 20 minutes a week looking for things to watch/record it works well and I don't have to even deal with netflix's streaming.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Well, there's one potential benefit - maybe Amazon will acquire Qwikster and we can be done with the boneheads who have killed the formerly great Netflix.

        Maybe not that exact deal, but I could totally see the reason to split is the intention that one side or another is about to get bought by someone who only wants half and wants a nice clean purchase of that half and/or can't afford to buy the whole enchilada. Some other CEO was just saying to the netflix CEO last month "I just wanna buy a Y company not a Y and Z company and then have to spin off Z, or Z competes with my other line of business, or I can't afford to buy a Y and Z company but I can afford a Y

      • by sootman (158191)

        Engadget has pretty good coverage [engadget.com]

        Netflix's CEO also made clear that his company was "evolving rapidly," and his goal from here on out is to move "too fast," if anything. So why, might you ask, did Reed just make a 180-degree turn, slam down the pedal and throw his entire DVD business in reverse? Because that's exactly what needs to be done. Creating a completely unmemorable web address with a totally unmotivated mantra reeks of idiocy... but it all seems to make a bit more sense when you're proactively ridding your company of a business that will do nothing but nosedive in the years to come.

        Like it or not, physical DVD distribution isn't an area that most sane folks would categorize as "primed for growth," particularly not when bumped up against streaming. Netflix admitted in October of last year that it was now "primarily a streaming company," so the shrill sound of shock resonating around the tech universe today is a bit hard to grok. Did we all really forget the direction Netflix was already moving in? All that happened with the introduction of Qwikster was a scorching beeline towards the end result: a thriving business devoid of physical movie delivery options.

        Despite what the man on the street thinks, Netflix KNOWS what their customers are paying for, and even though we may HEAR a loud outcry about them getting out of the disk-by-mail business, it's entirely possible that 80, 90% of their customers do not care. Remember, too, that there's a LOT more cost on the mailing-physical-things side of the market, so even if they're losing, say, 20% of their customers, that might only equate to 5% of their income.

      • This. Who's chairman of the board over there?

        Reed Hastings. You know, the guy who's also the CEO and co-founder. He's also on the Board at Microsoft. I'm willing to bet he knows a bit more about running a successful business than random schlubs on the internet.

    • As one of the people that was happy to switch to dvd-only and save a few bucks, now I can't even tell people I use Netflix. I hope they don't expect me to be mentioning watching movies from Qwikster.
    • by Hungus (585181)

      I doubt it id ton try and get people to subscribe, more likely it is to 'develop' a seperate business line so it can be jettisoned and not as negatively affect stock prices.

  • by LordKronos (470910) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:00AM (#37439760) Homepage

    This is just stupid, but the worst part is that, it seems to me like they didn't even think through all the implications of they way they are doing this. For example, take the following from the official netflix blog.

    User asks: " If a film I search for on Netflix is not available for streaming, will the website still tell me if the DVD is available? Or must I search twice?"
    CEO Reed Hastings responds: "ouch. You'd have to search the second place if we didn't have it in the first place."

    Ouch? Are you serious? Ouch? To me, that reads like "hmmmm, we hadn't really thought about that".

    • by spamking (967666)
      Wow. Sounds like Netflix should've just stuck with DVD rentals . . . and then created a separate streaming brand in the first place. Would that have even helped?
      • by rwv (1636355)

        And they could call the separate streaming brand.... Mailmovies. Seriously. Netflix. Internet Flicks. Movies delivered over the Internet. Movie Streaming has been their end-goal since Day 1. Mailmovies (or Qwikster) was a means to that end.

        On the other hand, it amazes me that they haven't been able to negotiate equitable terms for their mail distribution model verses their streaming business model. The fact that you can't stream all movies in the mail system is bad form.

        And while we're at it... w

        • by ProppaT (557551)

          Yeah, Hulu lost all my business because of the whole "web only" crap. Why aren't they catching more flack? So let me get this straight, I can use my laptop and watch anything I want, yet I *PAY* $8 a month for the privilege of streaming the service through a set top box and I actually lose features? No thanks. Hulu Plus isn't even worth a dollar as far as I can tell.

      • It's certainly possible. We're not privvy to what the studios tell them when they negotiate their fees. I wonder if they were making ridiculous demands by using one service as leverage for the other. "Well, you already have us on DVD, so if you want streaming too you gotta pay even more!"

      • by lpp (115405)

        No. Netflix has a lot of name recognition. Moreover, they've already sent clear signals they were ready to make streaming their major source of operations going forward. So they want to use the already present name recognition for the operations they intend to move forward with. As for the pain to the consumers, DVD rentals were dropping in big markets and were only growing marginally in outlying areas (flyover country). The big markets are where you're more likely to have a higher concentration of high ban

    • I add movies to my DVD queue now and they magically sometimes appear on my Instant Queue without any effort on my part. I don't search for streaming content. Their catalog isn't that extensive. Sometimes I browse, but I never search it.

      This might make me cancel my streaming service. I kept both during the price transition.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      At least with the price increase, there was some justification for it. This move just makes it a bigger pain in the ass for customers, for no good reason.

      Unless they're planning to sell off one or the other service, I can't figure out what they're even thinking by this dumbass move.

      • by phorest (877315)

        Unless they're planning to sell off one or the other service, I can't figure out what they're even thinking by this dumbass move.

        Maybe it's not too late for Blockbuster" to be popular again by buying "Qwikster"

    • by marcop (205587)

      Does that mean separate ratings for the DVD site as well as the streaming site. Who knows what other features are now separate.

      Sounds like a stupid move.

      • Yep, the ratings are now separate, too. Another post from the blog.

        User says: "The lack of communication between the two services regarding rating and reviews seems like a huge downfall and I would imagine will be a major complaint."
        CEO Reed Hastings responds: "It may be. At least when you start, your current rating and reviews will be in both. "

        That makes it sound like they are essentially going to clone the current system, and then they're independent from there on out.

    • by Alastor187 (593341) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:38AM (#37440280)

      I have been a member for about 6 years. My price has been going up slowly over that time for various reasons, but the recent jump due to streaming forced me to re-evaluate my monthly bill. To my surprise if I dropped streaming and blu-ray my monthly bill would almost be the same as when I first started (back before streaming or blu-ray).

      That lead me to believe that their pricing has just been changed to reflect the cost of streaming, they took the initial approach of giving it away for free and now feel they have enough of a user base to start building a business. I can understand they are business and need to charge for the service they provide. So I reduced by DVD plan and kept the streaming plan so there was no monthly impact for me.

      However, moving to two independent services is entirely different. As the email from the CEO stated by doing this they are breaking the integration between the DVD and Streaming services. As you stated it is now necessarily to manage both separately, meaning duplicated effort on two different websites. Not only does that waste the customers time it provides less incentive to use both systems. Integration is often what separates a good system from a great system, and that applies to many things we use in daily life and Netflix is no exception.

      I can't believe that the Netflix team doesn't understand the value of integration, as much of their past work involved integrating both Steaming and DVD on the current website. I also know that the CEOs long term goal has always been online delivery (hence the name), so maybe this is that first step. But it sure doesn't feel like a step in the right direction, perhaps because the primary differentiator between Netflix and everyone else was the option for both streaming AND physical media in one service.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:01AM (#37439766)

    i only have netflix streaming because my older kid always likes one or two shows on it that makes it worth it over buying the dvd. otherwise the selection is so bad there is nothing to watch.

    with apple's new rules i can just buy and stream from the apple tv and dump my cable DVR as well

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Except nothing even comes close to Netflix streaming. Apple's is more akin to pay-per-view than Netflix streaming, and is ill-suited for TV series (Netflix's strong suite). Hulu is the closest thing out their to Netflix, and their selection is weak by comparison (and you have to put up with ads on top of that).

      • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:36AM (#37440252) Homepage Journal
        The worst part is that EVERY legit streaming service has weak selection, Netflix is just a little less weak than the competitors (although if they lose Starz content we'll have to see). The major studios have been pretty hostile to streaming (even the original outrageous $8/movie streaming sites) and really we only have it so good now thanks to some rather fancy footwork by Netflix in the early days before the studios really took notice of them.

        The DVD-by-mail service is the only sure thing Netflix has. It costs them more, but they're not beholden to studio assholes with it. They just buy disks retail and stick them in envelopes. The streaming business model puts way too much power in the hands of the studios and lets them dick over any competitors at will.
      • by alen (225700)

        netflix is geared to geeks not real people. my wife likes 90210 which is not on netflix last i saw

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:03AM (#37439790) Homepage

    So how about an article that documents the effect on us, the customers, not on speculators and investors?

    Here, let me get that for you:

    Customers can still subscribe to both, but the two sites will not be integrated anymore. [...] Separating the businesses will also force customers to make a choice

    Crib notes: squeal, piggies, squeal.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      So, a 60% price increase, followed by a huge downgrade in the quality of the user experience? This is quite a one-two punch to the customer. Ouch, indeed.
  • by phorest (877315) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:06AM (#37439812) Journal
    Why of all things QWIKSTER? Why not MailFlix/NetFlix. Much more in line with the service capabilities.

    Dear Reed:
    I don't know you and this morning you send me an email telling me you messed up but yet I have never heard of you. I have a feeling you messed up again and didn't think this through. So now I'll need to have TWO accounts? Please reply when you know what you really want to do.

    Signed

    A new disgruntled customer.
    • by trout007 (975317)

      What's great is they don't even know how their users use their service. If these really are two different sites with nothing in common it sucks. I usually first go to Watch Instantly to see if the movie I want is there. If not I can easily add it to my DVD queue.

      • by phorest (877315)

        I usually first go to Watch Instantly to see if the movie I want is there. If not I can easily add it to my DVD queue.

        I rarely waste my time looking for streamed movies as they are so few in number anyway.
        Just try to watch "The Andromeda Strain" as a stream. It's been broken for 6 months.

    • by Bill Dimm (463823)

      Why not MailFlix/NetFlix

      I think they are trying to get away from the "flix" part of the name because they are adding games now. Really, the name is the smallest part of the problem. Splitting the websites apart is unbelievably idiotic.

  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has got to be an MPAA Shill planted to destroy cheap internet movie streaming. It's the only explanation. Has Hastings always been CEO of Netflix - I'm too lazy/disgusted to look, but if so I propose either that he has been killed and cloned, or brainwashed early on to be an unwitting sleeper agent, who has now been triggered to commit his acts of espionage. These are the only explanations for this kind of disaster.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      He's a co-founder, so I guess it's your "killed and cloned" theory. By the way, don't you mean acts of sabotage or something, not espionage?

    • Reed Hastings is a co-founder of netflix.

  • Apology??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Sorry we screwed you over, so in response we'll make things extremely inconvenient."

    Dollar vote people, dollar vote.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)

      Unfortunately there are few viable alternatives to Netflix streaming at this time. Hulu has commercials -- a deal breaker for me. Amazon Prime takes extreme inconvenience to whole new levels. I tried it with my Roku box -- they don't even alphabetize the titles in their catalog! I couldn't believe it. Blockbuster has DVD-by-mail service now their streaming service is immature, and Blockbuster is pricey.

      It's more like, "Sorry we screwed you over, but our competitors haven't got their acts together, so we

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:08AM (#37439846) Journal

    One of the reasons I decided the price hikes were acceptable was that Its "month to month" in that I was going to be able to do the streaming only service, consume the new content there, than switch back to the DVD service for a couple months until they get new stuff available on streaming.

    If this makes it hard to do that it further reduced the value to me and starts to make competitors like Amazon and Hulu+ look interesting. I still think Netflix is probably the better value proposition at the moment, even with the price hikes; but if this means I can't easily switch between one type of service and they other, I might have to start looking at other options for content again.

    This is a dumb move, all around AFAICT. Its basically an accounting trick to make the EPS of Netflix proper look a little better, investors won't wont be fooled, customers like me will be aggravated.

    • by Talderas (1212466)

      I think the move is smart for Netflix. They're looking at what they're seeing now and what the field looks like in the future. They're looking to cut the disc based business to avoid having it drag down the streaming business. There's a lot of potential out in the future that could cripple the disc-based side of things (look at the current turmoil involved with the Post Office). If the disc-based side goes too far in the red it would drag down the streaming side. They're trying to find ways to maintain prof

      • To me, such a complete split and a rebranding mean they're looking to sell the DVD business. Otherwise there was no reason to frustrate the users by delinking their ratings, recommendations, accounts, history, etc. Technically they can run on separate servers and share information between them, but they're not even bothering.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Maybe but to me a gradual phase out of the disk business would have made more sense. Keep slowing raising the prices for disks, order smaller numbers of new releases and stop expanding the back catalog. You would lower the yours costs of the disk business will increasing the price until one day you just shut her down.

        In the mean time you work like a dog to improve the content and souring of new content for your streaming service. I agree with Hastings that they need to get out the DVD business if they ar

    • I had a Hulu+ subscription. Got one right when they came available. It was pretty bad. They don't force all of their partners to offer Plus content. So, for example, none of the SciFi shows had more than the three most recent episodes available. Which, considering I got the service mainly to allow me to catch up on Stargate: Universe, made it pretty worthless to me. After about a month I realized that everything I was watching was available on the free side anyway, and cancelled it.

  • Actual Post (Score:5, Informative)

    by clinko (232501) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:08AM (#37439850) Homepage Journal

    Here's the actual blog post from Netflix instead of the Techcrunch blogspam that quotes it:

    http://blog.netflix.com/2011/09/explanation-and-some-reflections.html [netflix.com]

  • Well, I just got a new PS3 that I'm using for a media center manager and I had planned to signup for Netflix in the next week, but in the wake of this news I'm going to be holding off to see what the heck they are doing. First the 50% increase in the plans and now a complete divergence of the company. I'm sorry I only give money to a company that I feel I can actually get service from and right now that Isn't Netflix/Qwikster.

  • Great... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andymadigan (792996) <amadigan.gmail@com> on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:09AM (#37439860)
    So now when something in my queue is available on instant I won't be able to see that unless I specifically search a different site. (For an 100+ item queue, that's unreasonable).

    Now when I'm looking for something to watch, I'll have to check Netflix first, then Qwikster.

    I can't even see this as sensible business plan. The world is moving to streaming, so Netflix is going to create a new company that ships old discs? Do they really expect this business will still be growing in 5 years?

    Before Netflix split the plans, I had assumed that Netflix would slowly raised prices on the DVD-by-mail service before finally killing it. In the meantime they would work on expanding their content, and lobbying Congress to make it as easy to broadcast video as it is for radio stations to broadcast music (no individual negotiations, just a single company to make payments to).

    Instead, their streaming library is shrinking and they're cutting away the DVD business that makes up for it. I think Reed has drank a little too much of the Kool-Aid. He starts out his post talking about how well Netflix works on TVs. Yes, Reed, the software is great, but the selection is terrible. As an addition to the DVD service, it was great and promising, but it's not ready to be its own general market product yet.
  • by CaptainJeff (731782) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:11AM (#37439882)
    It's not stupid. It's NetFlix acknowledging that streaming is how people will watch content in the future. They are putting themselves 100% on the bleeding edge of all-streaming with no physical media. Now, there are a whole bunch of people that still want DVDs...and that's why they are still playing in that area at all. However, five years from now, when no one wants DVDs at all, they can just kill Quickster. Meanwhile, NetFlix becomes the dominant king of streaming content, as they can dedicate themselves 100% to that. It's not about innovating both business models anymore. It's about milking the DVD market as it dies while still allowing themselves to focus entirely on the streaming market, which is the future.
    • Neflix is gambling on how people will watch content in the future. Seriously, do you really think that five years from now the US will have improved its infrastructure enough to support universal access to downloadable content?

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Though when they find out that people don't want $60 per month streaming killing off Netflix will leave them to rebuild from Qwikster (or WTH it was).

      Netflix going streaming only shows they think they can make a profit it from it and if they can make a profit from it their suppliers will figure out they aren't making enough profit from Netflix. Kinda like what's happening now. DVDs by mail require a physical infrastructure. Streaming just takes some web monkeys.

  • Games (Score:5, Informative)

    by feidaykin (158035) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:12AM (#37439894) Journal
    Missing from this submission is the news that Netflix/Qwikster will now offer game rentals. I suppose that's not a big deal to everyone. I'm sure gamefly isn't happy about it, but competition should be great right? Personally I rarely if ever rent games, since I tend to play a demo first (and if there isn't one, pirate) and if I like the game I purchase it through Steam, so that I can get up-to-date patches, play online, and have that warm fuzzy feeling of supporting the developers. I wish the industry was more receptive to demos, because they do work, for good games at least.

    For example (an off-topic gaming story follows here), I recently watched X-Men: First Class and the American/Soviet ships primed for battle with each other put me in a Red Alert mood. I had never played the third game in the franchise, because when it came out I was raiding heavily in WoW and not playing anything else. Anyway, I went to check the price on Steam to find out if I had to get a pirated version as a sampler first, and to my surprise there was a free demo. The demo only offered two missions, but after spending an hour messing around with the various units in one mission I decided it was certainly worth the $20. Moral here is, game demos make sales, at least if the game is any good. But it seems to me like the industry simply expects you to rent the game if you want a sample, or else pay the full price, which is likely one of the driving forces of game piracy. Obviously the whole "free of charge" thing is a major draw for pirates, but I can imagine I'm not the only person who buys games, but won't waste $20-$50 until I'm certain it's something I will get several hours out of.
    • by jkmartin (816458)
      "One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games."

      But now I ask, do I have to rent DVDs to rent games?
  • This is like the Enterprise doing a saucer separation.

    Netflix is separating themselves from the part of the business that they think are doomed. That way, when the DVD by mail business does go belly up, Netflix itself won't be around to take damage.

    And I think they fully expect it to go belly up. Qwikster? Come on! "*ster" names went out of style almost 10 years ago!

  • NetFlix is also changing the name of their streaming service to The Pirate Bay increasing their streaming library 100fold!

  • by trout007 (975317) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:17AM (#37439968)

    I wonder if he made a one dollar bet with another CEO that he could ruin a successful company in one year and the other one could make a company successful in one year.

  • So after pissing off a minority of users by changing the pricing struture the plan is to piss off the rest?

    Force me to consider the disk and the streaming as unrelated things so that when I don't use one that much it'll be easier to ditch it?

    I have to search for things in two places?

    That whole recommendation thing they did a million dollar prize for not that long ago - it now can't use my DVD watching to recommend streaming?

    Sure they are clearly planning to ditch the DVD half and re trying to limit damages

  • That's the only possible reason I can think of for this bonehead move.

  • It looks to me as if Netflix will next be looking for a buyer for Quiflix. First the separate the HQ, then totally separate pricing with no discount if you use both services, now the separate name. It looks Quikflix is being separated away from Netflix because Netflix will soon be selling the Quikflix business off to another entity.
  • if you cut a turd in two, what do you get?

    Two turds, that's what.

  • This ONLY makes any sense if they announce at the same time that they have made new agreements with all the studios to put all their catalog available for streaming.

    That didn't happen, so now they are divorcing the service that actually *has* all the titles you want to watch from their primary brand and associating that brand with all the crappy titles you don't want to watch on streaming.

    Corporate suicide -- how do they get all those apparently smart people to go along with this at once?

  • there goes Netflix. What made them useful to me was the low price compared to cable television. Take that away (by charging me $20/mo for two or three different services) and I'm out.

    I guess people will pay just about anything for TV. Life sucks pretty bad unless your rich, so I can't blame them.
  • by CyberLeader (106732) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:35AM (#37440224) Homepage

    So we here in the Slashdot crowd are the first ones to laugh at businesses that fail to stay ahead of the technology curve. AOL and their endless CDs, RIM getting destroyed by iPhones and Android phones, Yahoo's failure to recognize that Google's advantage comes from more than just its search algorithms, et al. A common theme through all of these dramatic implosions is that the old business model strangled the new, and that the leadership of these companies was unwilling to take the short-term pain hit to prepare for the future. Yet Netflix is doing just that, and they meet with even more derision because it's going to screw up the existing customer base.

    Do any of us believe that DVDs via USPS are the future of content delivery? Of course not. Could Netflix have spun it a little better? Sure, but there's a whole set of reasons that moving away from your established business model is considered painful, and one of those is that it's going to piss off the established base and cost you some lost business. A little more artistry in the transition would have been nice, but anyone who thinks that this move is going to kill off Netflix is probably mistaken. They are being remarkably honest about it all.

    The DVD business is dying fast, and they know it. Direct content delivery is the growth industry that is disrupting DVDs (and eventually CDs, games, and packaged software) out of existence, and they're jumping to the new ship before the old one is sunk.

    • by Fulminata (999320)
      Maybe, but I think that what they'd already done was sufficient. Dividing into separate plans was a good decision, it was just handled poorly from a PR perspective. Dividing into separate companies is simply a poor decision that compounds the previous PR blunder.

      What happens now is that they have pissed off nearly everyone they didn't already piss off with the price increase. A lot of people who had decided to go ahead and keep both services despite the increase will now end up dropping one or both be
    • by SkimTony (245337) on Monday September 19, 2011 @10:55AM (#37441582)

      Having read the same comments you did, I think you're missing the point. Very few people are complaining that Netflix is doing the wrong thing by pushing streaming; lots of people are of the opinion that streaming is the future of content delivery. However, it's not ready to be the present of content delivery, and that's what most of us are lamenting. All those comments seem to end with "I'll see how things go, but if they screw up DVD rental, I'm out." I'm in the same boat - streaming is nice, but I signed up for Netflix for DVDs by mail.

      For all that Steve Jobs believes it, Disc-based content delivery isn't dead, because no one has stepped up to provide the content and experience that at least some of us want. None of the fully licensed (**AA compliant) services provide equivalent features to the physical media experience: I want to be able to watch non-English-language content with subtitles, and I want full surround sound from my action movies. Some folks like to watch the "extra features" on the disc. None of us wants the bright red "buffering" screen. Since streaming services don't provide these features, we're not willing to switch, yet.

      Presently, the best media-viewing experience possible is to obtain a physical DVD, rip it so that I can skip the out-of-date previews and commercials, and then watch it from a computer with appropriate A/V connections. Streaming has a lot of potential to let me skip a few of those steps, but they haven't realized that potential, yet.

    • by Skreems (598317)
      They had absolutely no reason to "jump ship", since they had the perfect business model to smoothly transition without pissing people off. Netflix has, for the past 3 years, been a mediocre-at-best streaming library with a backup of every DVD on the planet which would be shipped to you in 2 days on request. Once they get every studio in the world to put their stuff on streaming, then fine, cancel the DVD branch. But if they're looking to avoid alienating customers, how much does it cost them to keep the DVD
  • Wow...just wow. I was ok with the price hike, and figured I would deal with their horrible new interface they just rolled out. However, this appears to have finally pushed it too far. Are they determined to alienate their entire userbase? They lost a lot of mainstream content (Starz pulling all Sony films...and soon pulling completely out in February), made a horrible interface, made a 60% increase in price, and are now splitting the DVD service out (resulting in 2 websites and queues). Are the board going

  • by Subratik (1747672) on Monday September 19, 2011 @09:58AM (#37440592)

    Let me first begin by saying, let's have some foresight here fellow Slashdot readers. If the DVD business has been increasingly difficult for Netflix to maintain, and considering when they did change the price plans, most people dropped the DVD package but kept the instant video. Why would you try to push a market that is doomed to fail especially with the rise of instant media players for the TV and applications for phones/tablets?

    I would bet they have enough subscribers on their own right now to push this idea... considering they already have. I like how you all are trying to criticize a CEO for his business strategy but I think you should let their business speak for it first.. I think this is a good idea and only time will tell, I'm sorry if you're hurt that you'll have to go to another website for your DVD shipping service, but in all honesty, the DVD is dying market. Why should I ship myself a DVD if I can buy a media streamer where I can also rent or buy movies? (waiting for every angry technologist to tell me I'm wrong. meanwhile, not realizing that they're the minority in the market... especially the minority that's smart enough to pirate something if it really wants it)

    This is how I look at it... you may have to sign up with two different webpages to have them hit your credit card but in return it's cheaper than having the combined Netflix instant/dvd package. ALSO, you're getting the option to combine a gamefly like service with a movie rental service. And, as the CEO said in the article, they'll be able to focus on using their capital for more movie licenses for the people (majority) who use Netflix for their streaming services.

    Having said all this, Quixster is still a lame name.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.

Working...