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Netflix kills Qwikster before it launches


Netflix kills Qwikster before it launches

Adam Russett October 10, 2011

In yet another apologetic blog post to its customer base, DVD rental and streaming video company Netflix announced that it will be nixing the plan to split the company in two. Originally, as a response to users who were upset about recent price hikes, the company planned to launch a service known as Qwikster, which would house the DVD rental-by-mail portion of the company. Netflix would still exist, but only for streaming content. Many customers and critics said this was a very bad move, only making things more complicated than necessary, and it appears Netflix agrees.

"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 DVDs," reads the blog post, penned by the co-CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings. "This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster."

This also doesn't mean a return to the old pricing strategy, unfortunately. Hastings writes that the price hikes were necessary, and will remain in place. Still, it's likely that the member base of Netflix is pleased about this anticipatory change.

Hastings tried to frame this faux pas as an attempt to innovate, an attempt which he says went too quickly. Netflix has notoriously tried to stay ahead of the market, but to many, the case of Qwikster seems more like a flub rather than a step forward.

Since its price increases last summer, Netflix has seen a major drop in the number of users. Most recently, Netflix reduced its third-quarter forecast by 1 million subscribers, according to Reuters. Additionally the company has been struggling with certain movie and television companies, which are urging Netflix to charge consumers more for streaming content.