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Netflix Gets the Message, Dumps Qwikster

 
 
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What is happening at Netflix? First, there was the disastrous announcement of the price hike, and the subsequent apology. Then, there was the news that Netflix would divide itself into Qwikster, with the latter supporting DVDs and the former, streaming... but there would be no synchronization between the two sites. Now, Netflix has decided to nix the Qwikster before it had a chance to start. And all of this happened within a span of a couple months? Is trouble afloat?:

Abandoning a break-up plan it announced last month, Netflix said Monday morning that it had decided to keep its DVD-by-mail and online streaming services together under one name and one Web site.

The company admitted that it had moved too fast when it tried to spin-off the old-fashioned DVD service into a new company called Qwikster.

“We underestimated the appeal of the single web site and a single service,” Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, said in a telephone interview. He quickly added: “We greatly underestimated it.”

Mr. Swasey said that the Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings declined an interview request. But in a statement, Mr. Hastings said, “Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered and we respect that. 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.”

Mr. Swasey declined to comment on any involvement by the Netflix board in the decision to keep the two services together. Initial reaction to the Netflix announcement was largely positive, and the company’s stock jumped 10 percent in pre-market trading.

In-fighting? Bad customer service? The masterminds are too advanced for the proles? Who knows... it looks bad, but since we hadn't yet gotten around to canceling our joint account, this is good news.

 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at October 10, 2011, 5:10am

 
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