AfterDawn: Tech news

Netflix kills off idea for splitting streaming, DVD-by-mail

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Oct 2011 11:15 User comments (30)

Netflix kills off idea for splitting streaming, DVD-by-mail Last month, Netflix outraged subscribers by announcing that they would be splitting the DVD-by-mail and streaming services of their company.
The new company for DVDs, called Qwikster, would have its own login portal and would require subscribers to log in to both Netflix and Qwikster if they want to change their respective queues.

This move came on top of the already unpopular decision by Netflix to raise prices on those that wanted both services, from $9 to $16.

Today, Netflix has shut down the idea for Qwikster, based on user feedback.

Says CEO Reed Hastings (via Bloomberg):

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.


Users can switch their DVD and streaming queue from Netflix.com as usual, with their usual login.

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30 user comments

110.10.2011 11:55

*sighs*
What the hell are they doing/thinking over there?

210.10.2011 12:02

Good, they should have realized that was a dumb idea in the first place..


Concordia res parvae crescent

310.10.2011 12:36

Originally posted by Wanpa-Kun:
*sighs*
What the hell are they doing/thinking over there?
That is just the thing...they are not thinking.

I didn't want to lose my que, so I opened a BB account and moved my que over there...then I turned off my 5-at-a-time Netflix disk plan...and I'm not coming back.

410.10.2011 12:41

thepohl, shouldn't they? I mean, I can't even consider this as moving too quickly so much as moving in the wrong direction, maybe also too quickly. Couldn't they expect that people don't want to have to do everything twice just to enjoy a well-rounded delivery system of content?

However, at least they've actually listened to customers and paid attention to the fact that they were about to commit suicide. If this were Sony everything would have gone full speed ahead with some terrible, irrelevant blog post first announcing the change a week after fruition, once everyone would have already learned of the change from every news outlet imaginable and the fact that the website was now half of what it was.


~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

510.10.2011 13:50

I just want to know if they bothered with market research before making this plan up. I would have thought that the small amount of research needed would have told them this was a bad idea from the start. Maybe they were trying to split their stock artificially IDK. How many customers have they lost as a result?

That being said, I am glad they listened and canned the Qwikster thing.

610.10.2011 14:08

Just shows the power of the consumer if they all stick together. Enough people canceling and complaining did the trick. Now if we could only apply the same tactic to our elected in Congress, Senate and the Executive Branch of the government, imagine what could be accomplished............oh well, just a dream I guess!

710.10.2011 14:50

Originally posted by POGK:
I just want to know if they bothered with market research before making this plan up. I would have thought that the small amount of research needed would have told them this was a bad idea from the start. Maybe they were trying to split their stock artificially IDK. How many customers have they lost as a result?

That being said, I am glad they listened and canned the Qwikster thing.
Nope, they didn't. Hastings admitted that after 5 years of hitting victory after victory they got "too cocky" and thought they knew what we wanted better than we did. (Paraphrased, of course)

810.10.2011 15:09

Obviously no one in netflix management ever uses the service...otherwise they would have known what the customers wanted because they would have been customers themselves. I mean...did ANYONE EVER ask them to split the service???



910.10.2011 15:14

Customers in the end always will impact a company's rise or fall. Its a good thing they trashed the split it would eventually led to a decrease in sales like has already happened.

1010.10.2011 17:01

With band width caps from ISP's on thee rise I can't for the life of me see how they think streaming will be the future. I will only watch Blu-rays or HD programing. You can't get 1080p quality streaming.

EVERYONE I know all says the same thing they rent MOVIES (i.e. DVD's & Blu-ray's) from Netflix, the streaming was just a nice touch for waiting between deliveries and/or catching up on past episodes of TV shows. but none of them want to pay for one or the other let alone pay more for both. They, including me just don't use it (streaming) enough to justify extra cost.

and if I can just be honest for a minute, the streaming quality of Netflix is only marginally better than the quality I get from torrents. I'd rather torrent 2 seasons of Eastbound & Down for free than pay to stream it in similar quality. It's like paying for bottled water when you have water just as good for free at your house....it makes no sense.



1110.10.2011 17:41

I'm still canceling...


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

1210.10.2011 17:42

Originally posted by jookycola:
With band width caps from ISP's on thee rise I can't for the life of me see how they think streaming will be the future. I will only watch Blu-rays or HD programing. You can't get 1080p quality streaming.

EVERYONE I know all says the same thing they rent MOVIES (i.e. DVD's & Blu-ray's) from Netflix, the streaming was just a nice touch for waiting between deliveries and/or catching up on past episodes of TV shows. but none of them want to pay for one or the other let alone pay more for both. They, including me just don't use it (streaming) enough to justify extra cost.

and if I can just be honest for a minute, the streaming quality of Netflix is only marginally better than the quality I get from torrents. I'd rather torrent 2 seasons of Eastbound & Down for free than pay to stream it in similar quality. It's like paying for bottled water when you have water just as good for free at your house....it makes no sense.
Aye, but your tap water isn't considered illegal or copyright infringement. I'm all for yo-ho'ing and all, but if you sit there and torrent every little thing you want to watch (without a proper proxy set-up and all), especially entire seasons at a time, you will get noticed eventually if only because of the amount of data you're downloading.

~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

1310.10.2011 17:58

dumb move in the first place, greedy bastards until they realize they lose money. a little late for that don't you think?


Being nice always has its own consequences

1410.10.2011 22:06

Fire the CEO and put in someone that knows what they he or she doing and your company may come back ?? No matter what I will never use you again. I hate being treated like a jerk. I won't allow it again !!

1511.10.2011 2:44

Originally posted by thepohl:
Good, they should have realized that was a dumb idea in the first place..
It's called money.

See charging people $9 to get digital videos stream and get DVDs sent in the mail is silly.

Because if you split out the DVD side and charge extra for both services you can then sell off the DVD mail side as it's probably costing them more money all the while it's drop customers anyway.

And you get to keep the streaming side at the much higher charge to boot.

Only problem do people stay and pay extra costs to use the 2 separate services I guess not in this case.

1611.10.2011 4:31

It is a dumb idea why the need for 2 sites for them same service what's the point? They listened this time, I guess they got the hint the first time when a lot of there customers walked. They can't afford another giant loss of customers.

1711.10.2011 19:14

I'm just happy the goofy name "Quikster" is gone. It's bad enough "Twitter" and "Tweeting" caught on.

1813.10.2011 6:14

Originally posted by emugamer:
I'm just happy the goofy name "Quikster" is gone. It's bad enough "Twitter" and "Tweeting" caught on.
Yeah...but at least you can call their followers, "Twits"


1913.10.2011 14:52

Originally posted by jookycola:
With band width caps from ISP's on thee rise I can't for the life of me see how they think streaming will be the future. I will only watch Blu-rays or HD programing. You can't get 1080p quality streaming.

EVERYONE I know all says the same thing they rent MOVIES (i.e. DVD's & Blu-ray's) from Netflix, the streaming was just a nice touch for waiting between deliveries and/or catching up on past episodes of TV shows. but none of them want to pay for one or the other let alone pay more for both. They, including me just don't use it (streaming) enough to justify extra cost.

and if I can just be honest for a minute, the streaming quality of Netflix is only marginally better than the quality I get from torrents. I'd rather torrent 2 seasons of Eastbound & Down for free than pay to stream it in similar quality. It's like paying for bottled water when you have water just as good for free at your house....it makes no sense.
You are in a select group of people that only watch their content in the highest quality available. That's okay, but most HD feeds via satellite are 720p or 1080i and at best, upconverted to 1080p, IF you have the hardware that will do so. It's a start, but still not pure. I don't think many people care, and I know plenty of people who have HDTV's and watching stretched 480i/p feeds! Heck, one still have a VCR connected to his HDTV!

I get the point you were trying to make, but the HD feeds I get over Netflix are just fine, unless my ISP is acting wonky that day. To compare to torrents is just, uh, bad. You're relying on some pirate to create a suitable compressed file for your viewing pleasure. That's where Netflix is consistent. Plus I don't have to worry about waiting to get said file, it's pretty much on my screen within a minute.

I've actually gotten my money's worth out of the amount of Starz movies and TV series I stream. IMO the TV series are way overpriced to purchase a hard copy on DVD/BD. The small monthly fee from Netflix works just fine and I don't have to worry about letting discs collect dust.

And Eastbound and Down in not available on Netflix, as HBO has their own streaming HBO GO service, which is awfully bad unless you're confined to a small screen to watch.

As for bottled water, hey my water sucks, so we get bottled water and add those Crystal Light packets - so much better.

2014.10.2011 4:58

I have to agree with the bottled water argument...my last place had wonderful water...my current house has so many deposits in the water that my shower heads only last about 3 months, and that is using pure bleach to clear out the deposits every 2 weeks. All the water I drink comes from 1-gallon jugs...I wouldn't want to drink my tap water if I was in the middle of the desert about about to die.



2114.10.2011 13:09

agree... and there are many types of Netflix users. Many are mindless "i" drones and could care less about the quality of their TV.
Until you show them what they are paying for and not using.

But many Netflix users are "casual" users. Netflix is an "addition" to "other" services. The only value to Netflix is the ease of use and large library.
I only use Netflix if I absolutely have to. For that reason it is just not worth it at current prices.
I have much better options. Options that don't require crappy "streaming".

So, Netflix will survive just fine. They will keep the mindless drones and lose most savvy people. IMO


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

2214.10.2011 13:17

I consider myself one of the savvy. I own some nice equipment, newer 47" LED LCD HDTV, Blu-Ray, DirecTV's latest equipment, everything gets connected by best means, ie. HDMI, etc. and also my 5.1 surround, which is getting dated, but alas, better than most.

I still find the value to be there. I probably use the disc service less than anything, but for the $8-10 I'm paying, it's cheaper than buying something off the shelf or wasting half a night picking something out from the chain store down the road. Redbox isn't up to snuff with Blu-Ray selection thus far and I'm largely disappointed in what they have overall.

Funny thing is that I remembered this story when my streaming last night was 3 bars short of "HD" quality. I was angry and hit the stop button immediately. Waited a tick and restarted and got that "HD" to light up. Much better. ISP is more of the hassle in these things.

Side note, DirecTV is really pushing the streaming stuff as well, though theirs downloads direct to your DVR box. Nearly every major network offers some sort of "On Demand" channel through their service and the selection can go from meh to amazing. I find it just as convenient when I forget to record a show, as most of the recent episodes are archived right there.

5 years ago I didn't have any of this at my disposal. Now I have more media available than I can possibly consume!

2315.10.2011 5:19

I think netflix is a great deal even as it is...the disk plan isn't worth it anymore unless you are a pirate with a crummy internet connection, but the streaming is great...for $8 a month I get all the background noise I would get from a $100 a month cable package that doesn't look any better. I've got a netflix movie paused right now and it looks like a paused DVD...nice and crisp, no pixelation. There are even things on there that are worth actually watching, and I don't have to set my DVR to record them in advance. I wish they had more content, but I have been using it as background noise 8 hours a day for well over a year without running out of new stuff...that is a savings of $92 a month vs the cable company, or $1100 a year!

Plus, I often get stuck places for 20-30 minutes while waiting for someone who is running late while I am running early...and I can watch netflix FROM MY PHONE! Granted, there are other streaming services...but the content is usually lacking (or in some foreign language only)...and the quality is usually so bad that it doesn't even look good on a phone, let alone a 1080P display.

As for on-demand, they charge a fortune for those services...and you need to have a cable subscription too...no dice.



2422.10.2011 12:47

Netflix nixed the idea of splitting the DVD & streaming services? Great!! I was going to cancel but this move will keep me as a DVD & streaming customer for a good while.

2522.10.2011 13:27

Personally I do not like the idea of a monthly fee especially if I cannot justify whatever price the fee may be. Just plain and simple I don't watch Blu-Ray disks that often to offset the cost.
Streaming for me is useless. Poor audio and video. Just wait until service providers start charging what they feel is their fair share. Time will tell if and when streaming isn't such a great deal after all.

Wake me up when quality and content equals or exceeds satellite broadcasts. Not going to happen for a while.

If Redbox had a larger selection it would be almost perfect.

Jeff

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Oct 2011 @ 13:28

Cars, Guitars & Radiation.

2624.10.2011 8:49

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
Personally I do not like the idea of a monthly fee especially if I cannot justify whatever price the fee may be. Just plain and simple I don't watch Blu-Ray disks that often to offset the cost.
Streaming for me is useless. Poor audio and video. Just wait until service providers start charging what they feel is their fair share. Time will tell if and when streaming isn't such a great deal after all.

Wake me up when quality and content equals or exceeds satellite broadcasts. Not going to happen for a while.

If Redbox had a larger selection it would be almost perfect.

Jeff
I dunno, we have satellite and its consistency is spotty at best. Between the satellite signal itself and the numerous different stations, quality varies quite a bit even for HD content; at least on DirectTV...

~*Livin' Electronicallly*~

2724.10.2011 9:35

I must be lucky. The only problem I've had with DTV was during the Monsoon season (AZ). Lost the signal during storms twice but so did the neighbors who have cable. So I can't really say is was DTV's fault.

All the channels with nothing to watch. :)I really only watch a hand full of channels like Speed, military, National Geo, Comedy Channel and a few more.

I do notice the HD with some channels is 720P and others 1080i, with DTV movie channels 1080P. Some do not have HD 24/7. Maybe that has something to do with the HD quality.

Jeff

2824.10.2011 11:55

Originally posted by Jeffrey_P:
All the channels with nothing to watch. :)I really only watch a hand full of channels like Speed, military, National Geo, Comedy Channel and a few more.
So you're the guy that watches those "other" channels I "pay for". :-)

Signed ESPN, TNT, USA, AMC viewer. LOL

2924.10.2011 12:42

Hahaha!
ESPN and ESPN2 a lot. TNT, USA, SpikeTV and AMC not so much anymore.
Jeff

3024.10.2011 12:48

Should've noted, I really wish there was tiered plans where you could choose what you watch. I'd generously say that I couldn't name 1 show on over half the channels I get.

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