The CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, sent out an email to subscribers earlier this week apologizing for his bungling of the DVD/streaming separation in pricing earlier this summer. Which was quickly followed by yet another bungling… the introduction of Qwikster. I never did subscribe to the DVDs-by-mail, but have definitely been a fan of the streaming service. I use Netflix on a daily basis and I’m seriously considering canceling my DirecTV service because I honestly don’t watch satellite TV anymore. Everything I need is available through my Roku box.
To me, Qwikster seems, well… like an easy to way to kill off a portion of their company that they don’t really want anymore without actually admitting it. From a business standpoint, I can definitely see the reasons why Netflix would want to spin off its DVD option. The serious logistics issues behind shipping and receiving millions of DVDs in the mail seems like a hassle. Consumers, however, see this change in an entirely different light.
It seems like Netflix is doing everything in its power to kill Qwikster before the horse has even left the stable. Your video watching preferences aren’t getting transferred, the name is changing to something most consider quite goofy, and the price will probably go up again with the justification of various marketing demands and an increase in postage. The biggest problem for me has been the name… Qwikster. Why didn’t they try to keep it in the same name family, with something like Quikflix?
Not only that, but most companies tie in a major announcement by at least unveiling a new website. Unfortunately, the Qwikster website is still “under construction.” Yet another indication that they don’t really seem to care about this whole transition.
Facebook Comes to the Rescue
Facebook apparently decided to come to Netflix’s aid by unveiling their newest incarnation of the news feed. I was wide awake when they made the switch last night and my first comment was something along the lines of, “why, dear God, why…?”
This most recent bungling has definitely taken the heat off of Netflix as millions of Facebook users have taken to their walls in fits of rage against the newest change. As of this writing, I noted the “Question of the Day” on WSBT-TV’s wall post pertaining to the Facebook change had more than 300 comments, most of them in the negative realm. The most common response about the subject, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Wouldn’t it be interesting if Facebook suddenly started losing millions of users to another service, say Google+? Maybe then they would listen.
In the realm of the internet, things are constantly evolving and change is inevitable. However, slight and subtle changes are usually better received than dramatic changes. You would think that many of these new corporations would take a hint from the New Coke fiasco back in the 1980s. Unfortunately, some will never learn.