All the angry Netflix protestors can put down the pitchforks and relax, DVD rentals aren't going anywhere. Following an intense consumer backlash opposed to the idea of spinning off its DVD-by-mail business into a separate entity, Netflix this morning said it no longer plans to do that and has scrapped Qwikster before it ever got off the ground.
The consumer outrage over Netflix's recent price hike and even more recent announcement to spin off its DVD-by-mail service into a completely separate business has been well documented here and elsewhere on the Web. Now that the dust has had some time to settle, are subscribers ready to forgive and forget, or at the very least move on? Researchers at Piper Jaffray seem to think so.
Marc Randolph is one the visionaries behind Netflix, the company he co-founded along with Reed Hastings back in 1997. Randolph spent some time as Netflix's CEO, as an executive producer of the company's website, and served as a member on its board of directors up until 2004. Now he's on the outside looking in, just like the rest of us, but his perception is different than most everyone else sitting on the sidelines.
Surprise podcast! Nathan, Alex, Alan, Amber, and Gordon gather in the podcast pod to discuss the Qwiksterization of NetFlix, the de-Apothekering of HP, the UI updates of Facebook, the why-don't-we-have-access-to-the-Diablo-III-closed-beta of Diablo III, and people who don't have anything nice to say. All this and more in Episode 179 of the No BS Podcast!
Plus, we take a few questions and topic suggestions from the peanut gallery, and Gordon's Rant of the Week!
A note: We noticed in editing that our mics seemed to cut out intermittently. Sorry about the audio issues; we're trying to figure out what happened.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
With all that's been going on with Netflix lately, some people think Reed Hastings has lost his marbles. Others think the CEO lost his soul and/or question if he ever had one to begin with. That's because there's a lot of anger out there over Netflix's recent price hike followed by the semi-sudden separation of its DVD-by-mail rental business into Qwikster, a completely new company that frees Netflix to concentrate solely on streaming. As a result, Netflix is losing customers and investor support, but the company head hasn't lost his sense of humor.
Netflix's decision to spin off its DVD rental business into a separate entity known as Qwikster and add videogames to the mix means gamers now have another option to get their pixelated fixes. It also means big competition for GameFly, which doesn't appear to be threatened by the move, or is at least playing it tough in the public eye.
The brand recognition Netflix is going for with its Qwikster spin-off probably isn't one of a pot-smoking Elmo, yet up until this morning, that's the image people would have seen if they tried to follow Qwikster on Twitter. That's the sort of thing you risk by not doing your due diligence, and in this case, Netflix failed to check the social networking scene before settling on the name Qwikster, which is the Twitter handle of someone who likes to blaze, play soccer, and rage about his ex-girlfriend.
It's doubtful Reed Hastings is a football fan. Instead of kicking back on the couch yesterday and watching any number of NFL stories play out, the CEO of Netflix spent Sunday penning an apology letter to subscribers for his poor communication regarding the recent price hikes, and explaining this thing called Qwikster, which is what Netflix is calling its suddenly severed DVD-by-mail business.