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September 18th, 2011


This evening’s surprise news was that Netflix would be spinning off its DVD business into a new company called Qwikster.

In his blog post, Reed Hastings comments on the reasons why – which I won’t rehash here. Notably, one’s instant queue is now completely divorced from one’s DVD queue, and (as of now) there will be no migration of one’s queue from Netflix to Qwikster. Sorry to break it to you.

While there’s a lot of hue and cry about Qwikster, I think that from a business standpoint it really makes sense. Netflix had made several moves recently to break off the DVD business, including that pricing change, so this really shouldn’t have been surprising. And things like the separate queues make sense if you think of Qwikster as a totally separate company – which you should.

One random commenter on the web suggested that this was a bad experience for everyone. That’s simply not true: if you’re a streaming-only customer like me, nothing has changed. Not a thing. But for people who do still use DVDs, it’s a big transition.

Posted in Consumer Commentary, Technology

Ryan September 19, 2011, 9:22 am

First, what a craptastic name!

Secondly, did you get the impression that Hastings wasn’t all that excited about this move? The tone of his e-mail felt very… detached?… to me.

I’m a streaming-only subscriber, but would have remained a 1-DVD-out subscriber if the price had remained the same, so it does kind of bug me that the queues are separating and disconnecting, but it’s not the end of the world since I’ve moved my queue over to a Google Spreadsheet, too.

What annoys me much more is the unannounced removal of the “saved” section of the streaming queue. I’d like to kick someone in the nads for that.

Paul September 19, 2011, 6:22 pm

Yeah, the tone of Hasting’s mail was notably tame. “Ho hum, DVD business still happening, new name and company.”

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