CEO Reed Hastings turned Netflix into the country’s largest movie subscription service, but lately he can’t seem to get things right. After publicly announcing plans to spin off Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service as a new company called Qwikster, Hastings has completely backpedaled. DVDs will now stay at Netflix.com. The Qwikster.com domain now leads straight to Netflix.
“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,” said Hastings in a blog post. “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.”
The reason for this reversal seems to be customer backlash, and we know why. While there isn’t really a problem with splitting off DVD rentals into a separate Website, Hastings made it clear that he planned to separate everything: users of DVD-by-mail and streaming would now have two separate bills each month, two separate logins, two separate queues–even movie ratings would be completely separate between the sites. There’s really no reason why Netflix wouldn’t connect up as many services as possible to make the experience seamless. It seems, when users demanded this ease of use, Netflix decided to abandon Qwikster all together.
What were Netflix’s plans for Qwikster and why did it abandon the idea so quickly? With snap decisions like these, the company is starting to resemble HP.