Mere weeks after announcing that its DVD rental business would be spun off under the name Qwikster, Netflix has today announced that it’s backtracking on the decision.
In a blog post today, CEO Reed Hastings says
“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.
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.”
On 18 September, Hastings announced the intended split, noting: “We realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.”
The move followed criticism of price hikes for users who used both the DVD and streaming services offered by Netflix. However, announcing the launch of Qwikster spurred a backlash from both the stockmarket and users who would be inconvenienced by having to maintain two different accounts.
Still, whether operated under the Netflix brand or as a separate business, it’s clear that DVD rentals only have a limited future, streaming is most definitely Netflix’s future. So don’t expect to be receiving DVDs in the mail for many more years.