Archive for September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix and Qwikster

Reed Hastings:

Another advantage of separate websites is simplicity for our members. Each website will be focused on just one thing (DVDs or streaming) and will be even easier to use. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the and websites will not be integrated. So if you subscribe to both services, and if you need to change your credit card or email address, you would need to do it in two places. Similarly, if you rate or review a movie on Qwikster, it doesn’t show up on Netflix, and vice-versa.

The recent pricing changes didn’t bother me, but splitting the service into two sites seems like a terrible idea. How does removing integrated search, queues, and ratings help customers? I thought the idea was to leverage the DVD customer base to grow their streaming business. As a DVD subscriber, the convenience of Netflix streaming is gone, so I may as well look to other streaming services first, ones that offer content à la carte.

I like this comment by Jeremiah Cohick:

You’re continuing to make a classic mistake: thinking you’re something different than what everyone believes you are. You’re not a DVD company and a streaming company: you’re where I go to watch movies. That’s it. The future clearly is streaming, but by separating and charging more for access, you’re wildly less valuable to me. I’ll likely cancel. You haven’t listened to customer feedback. You’re delusional and you’re lost.

The “explanation” from Hastings makes things less clear than before. I can only guess that they have some other major business change planned but as of yet unannounced.