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Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix introduces Qwikster

UPDATE: Netflix decided to nix this "Qwikster" idea. I think they should probably avoid making anymore announcements now...

A couple of months ago, Netflix announced that in addition to splitting up their DVD rental and streaming video services, that they would also be raising their rates-- in some cases from $5.00 to about $15.00 per month. This has angered and frustrated many Netflix subscribers to the point where many of them have decided to cancel their subscription to the service. Except myself, that is. My increase was about $5.00 to get both DVDs and streaming, so it wasn't that much of a blow for me. I mean really, name any other movie service that offers the quantity that Netflix has-- both with DVDs and streaming combined, you practically have access to everything available on DVD and Blu-ray. But that's not good enough for certain people, who are now turning to services like Hulu and Amazon and iTunes. Fair enough. Believe me, those people will be back-- ESPECIALLY when they realize what they're missing. If you're a movie nerd, you will stick with Netflix. If you are only interested in seeing new movies and television shows...have fun with Hulu (remember when they were free?).

Today, I got an email from Reed Hastings, Co-Founder of Netflix. Well, it wasn't just for me, it was sent to all Netflix subscribers. He explained in the email that he had "messed up." He acknowledged the much criticized announcement of the rate increase, and sought to appease those who had felt screwed over and disrespected. Basically, he said that Netflix has grown quite a bit over the years, and to accommodate that grown, certain changes needed to be instated. With that, the decision was made to split the streaming and DVD rental services into two separate entities. Netflix would house the streaming end of things, and the newly-announced "Qwikster" (dumb name) will handle physical DVD and Blu-ray disc rentals. In addition, he announced that Qwikster would also introduce a video game rental service (watch you ass, Game Fly).

Regardless of the speculation and other bad news-- the loss of Starz and Encore content starting next year-- I don't think Netflix (and Qwikster) are going anywhere. I think the people who felt scorned will be back. I have been using Netflix for MANY years, and I have no intention of giving it up. For a film geek like me, there is simply no other solution. They are the reason that, other than HBO (mostly for their original programming and boxing), I have no other premium channels. Who needs them, when you have access to everything!

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