Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix CEO: "I messed up"; Netflix DVD to become "Qwikster"

Either Netflix's blog got hacked, or hold on to your red envelopes.

By CitizenBot, courtesy BigShinyRobot!

Via their blog, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings offered the following apology:
I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.
Wow. Humility from an American CEO. Next thing you know, George Lucas will apologize for the "Nooooo!!!!" he added in Jedi and Greedo shooting first.

But in the vein of "that's awesome. . .   whaaaaaAA?!?!!" in the same blog post Hastings announced the seperation of Netflix's business into two seperate services.  Netflix will become a streaming-only service. If you want your DVDs and Blu-rays in those little red envelopes, you'll be using their new service Qwikster.

Qwikster, aside from being a stupid name that sounds like a rejected character from The Phantom Menace, will offerns fans something they've wanted for a long time: video games! So, if you don't already use Gamefly or Redbox, then you can get your games from
Qwikster too.

This is obviously an attempt to stop the bleeding on their ailing stock price, which has slid over 20% since they announced last week that they were downgrading their expectations of how many subscribers they would have.

For full disclosure's sake, as I write this I sit here watching Star Trek on Netflix instant streaming. When Netflix announced they were separating their charges for DVDs and streaming, I was actually happy. It saves me money every month, since I cancelled my DVDS. I think in a year and a half of dvds by mail, I had rented exactly four movies: Avatar on Blu-ray, 8: The Mormon Proposition, MI:5, Season 5, disc 1 (before it became available on streaming) and Gasland. That's it. Meanwhile, we cancelled our cable and got a Roku Box specifically for streaming.

What I mean by this, in my opinion, is that streaming is the future for Netflix. They ought to focus on this, and renewing their partnerships with Starz or other media outlets, if they want to stay relevant and not become merely a source of junk films and tv shows that few people want to watch.

Although as long as they keep Dora, Diego, The Backyardigans, Phineas and Ferb, and Yo Gabba Gabba for the kids, Star Trek and Arrested Development for me, and The Young Riders, MI:5, and Robin Hood for my wife, we will continue to subscribe.

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