Less than a month after Netflix unveiled a new plan to split off its DVD-by-mail service into a separate service called Qwikster comes news that the company has now reversed that very unpopular decision. In a blog post this morning, CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings announced that the company would be dropping the Qwikster idea entirely, and that DVD-by-mail would remain part of Netflix along with the streaming service. More details after the jump.
Netflix revealed its new business model September 18 to widespread irritation and outrage from both customers and shareholders. The move was particularly ill-received coming as it did on the heels of Netflix’s pricing model change, which had begun taking effect earlier that month.
Hastings wrote this morning:
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. While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes.
Netflix has been taking a beating over the past few months. The company lost an estimated one million subscribers thanks to the price changes, and its stock has dropped 57 percent in the past two months. Critics of the Qwikster model called it a poorly thought-out move, as evidenced by missed details like the fact that the @Qwikster handle had already been registered by someone else, and customers complained at the inconvenience of having to manage two separate queues and billing accounts. Last month, Netflix CFO David Wells reported that the company was weighing its options in response to the backlash.
Hastings seems to have heard the complaints. “Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered and we respect that,” he said in a statement. “There is a difference between moving quickly – which Netflix has done very well for years – and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case.”