Qwikster is dead! Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced this morning they’ve abandoned their plans to split Netflix into two services: Qwikster for DVD-by-mail and Netflix for streaming. What does this mean for the consumer? There will be one web site. It means if you want to watch something on Netflix streaming and it’s not available, you will be able to queue up the DVD (or Blu-ray) on the Netflix website. No Qwikster envelopers. One credit card charge. Essentially, the Qwiskster brand is gone.
What a relief. It’s great when companies listen to their customers. Netflix announces earnings in a couple of weeks, so we’ll see if a significant number of folks voted with their wallets. As we recently stated, convenience is one of the main differentiators when consumers decide where to get their entertainment. Since the Netflix’s strong suit has always been convenience, the move to DVDs to a completely separate non-integrated website was puzzling at best. While there have been some content additions to the Netflix streaming library as of late, it’s still not enough for most consumers. The integrated DVD service filled those gaps quite nicely.
From what we can tell, DVD-by-mail will still exist as a separate division within Netflix. The good news for consumers is that they no longer need concern themselves with Netflix’s organizational structure.
Update: Prior to the announcement of the Qwikster separation, Netflix had made several other changes to split the DVD and streaming businesses. One change removed the ability to add titles to your DVD queue from Netflix streaming devices. Another change removed access to DVD management by third-party web applications. The word from Netflix is some of these changes will stay in place and others will “evolve”. More to come…