Oct 10, Netflix Inc reversed an
unpopular decision to put its DVD video rental business on a
separate website and rename it Qwikster, saying both DVD and
online streaming services will stay on the same website.
U.S. customers will continue to go to Netflix.com for
streaming and DVD-by-mail rentals, the company said in a
statement issued on Monday.
The earlier plan to put movie and television DVD rentals on
a different website, which never went into effect, was one of
several missteps in recent months that have helped drive shares
of the one-time Wall Street darling down about 60 percent since
Writing on the company blog last month, CEO Reed Hastings
said Netflix was putting the DVD service on a different website
and naming it Qwikster as the company separated the business
from its growing online streaming offerings.
The move would have forced customers of both streaming and
DVD options to visit different websites and maintain different
accounts for each subscription. Customers also would have
received separate credit-card charges.
The announcement prompted confusion and outrage from
customers who wrote on the Netflix blog and Facebook page, plus
bewilderment over the move to the Qwikster name for DVDs sent
through the mail in the company's signature red envelopes.
In a statement issued on Monday, Hastings said "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
"Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered
and we respect that," Hastings also said.
Netflix said it will not rename the DVD service. U.S.
members "will continue to use one website, one account and one
password for their movie and TV watching enjoyment under the
Netflix brand," the company's statement said.
The move comes as Netflix deals with a customer backlash
that began in July when the company announced it was raising
prices by as much as 60 percent, or $6 a month, for some
customers who wanted to keep DVD and streaming subscriptions.
With cancellations rolling in, Netflix cut its third-quarter
forecast by 1 million subscribers in September. The company said
it expects to have 24 million subscribers at the quarter's end.
Hastings later apologized for the handling of the price
increase but is sticking with that decision as the company works
to build its online movie and television streaming service.
Netflix faces pressure from Hollywood studios and cable
programmers to pay more for streaming content. Negotiations with
Liberty Media's Starz were recently called off because
the two sides could not reach an agreement on pricing terms.
The company also faces competition from Amazon.com ,
Hulu and others.