Something weird is happening with Netflix. The CEO announced yesterday the division of their DVD mail service and their streaming service. They will be two separate businesses–the DVD mail service will be renamed “Quikster,” and the streaming service will remain as Netflix. This will take place in a couple of weeks. From 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.’ We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name ‘Netflix’ for streaming.”

“Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. Another advantage of separate websites is simplicity for our members. Each website will be focused on just one thing (DVDs or streaming) and will be even easier to use. 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.”

This is super lame. Coupled with the fee increase which will go into effect Sep. 28 (my 1-DVD plan w/unlimited streaming will go from $9.99 to $15.98 per month), it’s just compounding a bad with a worse.

Anyone recommend alternatives to Netflix? It seems there’s been such a huge explosion of content uploaded to various free sites that maybe a subscription model like Netflix or Quikster or Nesquik or whatever the fuck it is seems pointless.

10 thoughts on “Nesquik”

  1. But the blog does indicate a) that there won’t be another shift in pricing structures and b) the user doesn’t really need to do much of anything–the newly-separate accounts will still be in action, UNLESS you want to change stuff, in which case there’s the extra hassle of going to two sites to change.

    That all said, it seems still a decent option to me.

    I’d be interested to hear about other rent-by-mail options. For streaming, there are some sites — Mubi, Cracked (or maybe this is just an app?) — that have some better (Mubi) or worse (Cracked) options, best I can tell. No one seems to have quite the range that Netflix for the moment still does.

  2. I, for one, appreciate a corporate CEO who takes the time to explain things to the hapless consumer. Qwikster cuz it’s quick, see what I mean. Nice! Rather than, say, “Slugster” which might indicate it’s as slow as a garden slug. I always appreciate the little bit of pride in every envelope. I put a little something in my envelopes, too, but it’s not pride.

    But seriously, folks, has there ever been a successful corporate model so hopelessly fucked up? What profound stupidity here; first you alienate customers with your large price jumps and then you make it more, rather than less, difficult to get access to titles. Why don’t you just rename Quickster (cuz it’s quick, see) “Fuck you, old-timer, with your ridiculous DVD objects..why don’t you find a corner to die in, so we can concentrate on the kids who have enough sense to stream their media.” Now there’s a title that rolls off the tongue. How exactly does one acess the “special features” in a DVD when streaming? Do you see a menu for the film or do you merely have access to the film? Is Qwikster (cuz…) going to update its inventory or is it just a ghetto for their old stock? And how can we soothe this CEO who is obviously suffering from the trauma of making this difficult announcement…

  3. Nice ref.

    There have been some good responses to this Netflix move, in Slate and Inside Higher Ed. A key issue for me:the dvd service is pretty good, and I still rely (too heavily) on its variety. The streaming service is fine, but far far less diverse–I tend only to use it when a bit bored, and just dabbling, or grabbing an impulse watch.

  4. So, here’s the latest news:

    “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.

    We’re constantly improving our streaming selection. We’ve recently added hundreds of movies from Paramount, Sony, Universal, Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM and Miramax. Plus, in the last couple of weeks alone, we’ve added over 3,500 TV episodes from ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, USA, E!, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Discovery Channel, TLC, SyFy, A&E, History, and PBS.

    We value our members, and we are committed to making Netflix the best place to get movies & TV shows.

    Thank you.


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