Netflix Nixes Qwikster Switch - Multichannel

Netflix Nixes Qwikster Switch

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Netflix, in PR crisis mode, quickly killed the plan to split off its DVD-by-mail business into a separate unit, which was to have been called Qwikster, while it will keep the pricing changes that raised the price of streaming-plus-DVD plans as much as 60%.

Netflix said in a Sept. 18 blog post by CEO Reed Hastings that its DVD-by-mail service would operate at Qwikster.com, in a separate unit. However, on Monday, the company abandoned that plan, announcing that U.S. members will continue to use one website, one account and one password for accessing movies and TV shows under the Netflix brand.

"Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered and we respect that," Hastings said in a statement. "There is a difference between moving quickly -- which Netflix has done very well for years -- and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case."

Qwikster logo

The about-face comes as Netflix has suffered a customer backlash from the decision to split apart DVD and streaming plans, which went into effect for U.S. subscribers Sept. 1. Netflix previously forecast that it would lose approximately 600,000 U.S. customers for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, as a result of the change.

In a blog post Monday, Hastings said, "While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes."

Hastings also noted that Netflix has recently added "hundreds of movies" from Paramount, Sony, Universal, Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM and Miramax, as well as more than 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," he wrote.

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