Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

Summary: That was Qwik. Netflix kills its Qwikster brain fart before it even launches. The company looks jumpy amid increasing competition.

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Netflix said that it separate its DVD-by-mail business dubbed Qwikster after all.

In a short blog post, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said:

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.

Granted, Qwikster wasn't the best idea. The launch of Qwikster looked so rushed that Netflix didn't even procure a Twitter account for it. The general idea was that Netflix would separate its DVD and streaming movies account. The move sounded OK in theory since DVD and streaming services are already separate services in the pricing model, but Qwikster was called Qwikstupid within hours.

Netflix retreated because "we value our members." Translation: Netflix didn't want to lose more subscribers.

Now let's take a step back and survey the situation.

  • Netflix has seen subscriber growth slow over its pricing model.
  • The launch of Qwikster was a major screwup.
  • And now Netflix's brand is tarnished just as Amazon's streaming service will be delivered with every Kindle Fire.

If Netflix looks a bit jumpy that's because it should be. The stakes are high for Netflix, which increasingly looks like it's amateur hour after years where it could do little wrong. The company has to fend off Amazon, land streaming content deals and deal with Echostar, which is hellbent on bringing Blockbuster back to its glory days.

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    10 comments
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    • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

      I still think they are looking for a buyer. Netflix doesn't have the cash necessary for expansion and content acquisition.
      SunFire23
    • The market has spoken.

      so why go forward with something your customers tell you they will leave over?
      William Farrell
    • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

      my best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here "MakeCash5.c om"
      Glenda21974310
    • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

      Well, I'm glad they at least had the sense to pull the plug on this one after watching the backlash.
      SlithyTove
      • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

        @SlithyTove ... Said it before and will say it again, "They dinged their customers near-term with the decision to raise rates 60%. In my case, over two years it was a 100% rate increase. If this was necesaary to stay competitive, then there was definitely something wrong with their business model to be able to sustain long-term growth from the very beginning."
        dwhipple
    • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

      Netflix = Deadflix.
      Playdrv4me
    • Im a Netflix early adopter. Been a loyal customer forever.

      Dropped the mail DVD part when the price hike came. Streaming selection is still crap. Will be checking out Amazons service shortly. You'd better get your sh** together quick Netflix. You are looking CLUELESS.
      Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

        @Johnny Vegas

        I have the Amazon Prime membership. The instant video selection (free to Prime members) is similar to what Netflix has, but not as deep. The more desirable streaming HD movies are $3.99 for a 48 hour rental. We live not too far from 3 Red Boxes, so we get a bluray from them on occasion. Stream will sometimes rebuffer at the most irritating moments... We like the oldies and oddballs on Netflix, but are using it less and less. Amazon Prime is worthwhile if you shop it and like to get your stuff in two days without paying shipping. Great for gifts or if you are in a hurry. I think the not-free streaming movies are a bit pricey, but we have done the rental for two in the last month...
        notme403@...
    • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

      More inclined to drop Netflix as the streaming content remains crappy and outdated. Stream buffering events are becoming more prevalent, too. Locked in to Amazon Prime, so a lot of the same included (free, they call it) content is available. $3.99 for a streaming rental is high, though. Red Box is very attractive. It is cheaper to go to Red Box on a Thursday before it is depleated and keep the disk for two days. Uninterrupted viewing in HD. Also, you can check the inventory in your neighborhood box on line before going to pick up your movie.
      notme403@...
    • RE: Netflix's Qwikster retreat makes sense, but looks skittish

      "The launch of Qwikster looked so rushed that Netflix didn???t even procure a Twitter account for it."

      Not at all surprising for a company that doesn't even have an email address on their website. They want you to call and wait on eternal hold to speak to a not-so-live(ly) body.
      dwhipple