Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix Doubles Down with a Streaming Pile of BS

After annoying all of their customers with a price increase over the summer, Netflix has done it again. They are now splitting the streaming video service (to still be called Netflix) and the DVD by mail service (to be called Qwikster). That's right, two websites that won't talk to each other and two charges on your credit card statement.

I suspect that CEO Reed Hastings is right, he needs to move ahead with the streaming video service without being tied down to the old concepts of the DVD mail queue. In the meantime, he has pissed off all of his longtime customers.

Here's the problem and Reed already knows what it is:

"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."
So creating this problem, for this is a self-created problem, can only mean one thing. Netflix expects its customers to choose between the DVD by mail service and streaming video. And you can tell where Netflix thinks the future lies, the streaming service will continue to bear the name Netflix but the original DVD by mail service gets the extremely lame name Qwikster.

Reed nonetheless thinks he needs to do this, and here's why:

Companies rarely die from moving too fast, and they frequently die from moving too slowly.
Actually, companies die from moving too fast all the time.

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