What is Qwikster? A "new" Netflix DVD side.

Well, out of no where, Netflix has decided to split off the DVD side of things into an entirely new company, CEO and all.

This caught a lot of people by surprise last night, as it caught Twitter by storm.

This was posted on the Netflix blog:
So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.
The following video has also been released:

The only thing that possibly makes me excited about this whole situation is the fact that, apparently, "Qwikster" will also be making video games available for rent. Outside of that, I can only see this making things more complicated (in terms of adding things to queues), having to go back and forth from different websites.

Many people are thinking that this is nothing more than a move to attempt to try to get people to stop being interested in DVD rentals by mail altogether.

What do you think?


John said...

It's pretty clear that they think the DVD-by-mail business is doomed in the long run.

Before long, they're probably going to try and sell off "Qwikster" altogether, assuming they can find a willing buyer.

The fact that the streaming side of the business is the only one keeping the well-known "Netflix" brand is extremely revealing as to where their priorities are.

Anonymous said...

I'm much less upset than many people I know seem to be. I don't see it as a huge change, and I wish both halves of the company the best.

The only qualm I have is that I love how I can easily move movies and TV shows from my DVD queue to my instant queue as they come available for streaming, and vice versa as they become unavailable. I hope that there is some way for my Netflix and Qwikster accounts to work together in the future as smoothly as my two Netflix queues work together now.

InstaFlicka Podcast said...

Hastings was hoping this would provide people with more clarity. It seems to do the opposite.

John said...

I switched to the streaming-only plan right when the price hike took effect.

I also happen to have recently moved into a new neighborhood that has a really cool independent video store within walking distance. I get my DVDs from there now. It's a little pricey at $4.00 for 3 nights for new releases, but I found that for the last several months, I've been renting hardly any DVDs from Netflix, using streaming almost exclusively, so I probably won't be spending much more than I would have, had I stuck with a streaming + DVD plan.

If the price hike was enough to make you cancel your account, you should take this as an opportunity to support your local video store, if your town still has one.

At least give it a try before you take your business to another multibillion dollar corporation.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great move. Streaming is the future, and Netflix is moving agressively to that space.

Check out my Twitter feed @Streaming_Guide today for a selection of great blogs on this.


Joey G said...

The only way the Disc-by-mail system will die is if new releases are available to stream in full HD as soon as they come out, and the way things are going it will be a long time before this happens. Even then there are special features to consider, something that in time will be made available via streaming, but we are years away.

It's a shame Netflix is already starting to kill the disc-by-mail system. At least there is Rdbox.

Anonymous said...

What Joey G said.

The content providers have far less pricing power vs. the distribution platforms in DVDs, as opposed to streaming. This abandonment of DVDs in favor of streaming will be the death of Netflix...the markets are speaking....

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