Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix announces Quikster; splits DVD and streaming service

Netflix announces Quikster, splits DVD from streaming video service. That's the word from Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix. An email was distributed on Monday to let subscribers know about the change. Those who have subscribed to both the DVD and streaming Netflix services will now see two charges on their monthly statement.

Streaming videos will now be the sole product under the Netflix name. The DVD by mail service has been renamed to Quikster. Mail envelopes will still be red but will bear the new Quicker logo. This came on the heels of a price increase that found customers dropping Netflix or changing service plans.

According to Hastings, the development of Quickster came after the company realized that streaming and DVD-by-mail are really becoming two different businesses. At this point it was apparently time to make a change. Thus, Qwikster has been introduced. The company provides more details and video on their blog.

But, will it work. To this customer, Netflix had a good thing going. The combination of DVD-by-mail and streaming video is what attracted me to the company in the first place. So far, no one has offered a richer selection of available DVD titles. When this was combined with the instant viewing, the package became unbeatable.

So, what's the future for Netflix after it announced Qwikster? Is this the beginning of the end of DVD by mail? Changes like this can mean a rocky road for customers and companies. For right now, this once happy customer is taking a 'wait and see' approach before checking out the competition.