Last time, I posted a satire about how Netflix should charge double for their services. On that same day, Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO, sent out an apology trying to justify the price increase.
He began discussing cost structures and other concepts that the majority of readers can’t truly understand or appreciate because we don’t understand the inner workings of Netflix.
After apologizing, but basically saying the prices will remain, he announced the next step in the Netflix transformation. I’ve always considered Netflix to be on the same level as Google, and other cutting-edge, people-pleasing, customer-comes-first companies, but I think I’ve been proven wrong.
The next step in the Netflix transformation is: Qwikster.
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What Is Qwikster?
Essentially, Netflix is splitting their DVD business off into its own entity called Qwikster. When you think Qwikster, think Netflix DVDs by mail. That is all they are, that is all they will do, and that is all they will be: DVDs by mail. Netflix will no longer ship DVDs by mail, it will be Qwikster, and it will come in a Qwikster envelope.
Qwikster, while treated as a separate company, will still be a subsidiary of Netflix. Much like Toyota owns Scion, or Google owns Android. To summarize: Qwikster does DVDs by mail, and Netflix will be Streaming only.
What Do the Qwikster Changes Mean For Me?
If you dropped your DVD by mail service, then this means absolutely nothing to you. Everything should continue working as it is and has. If you do use the DVD by mail option, then here are some changes to expect:
- A different logo on your DVD envelopes.
- A separate charge on your bank statement.
- A different website to log into.
Will Qwikster Have A Different Website?
Wait- did I say a different website? Oh, yes I did! The Netflix website and the Qwikster website will not be integrated. This means that you will need to log into two different websites to manage your streaming and DVD queues, to rate movies and to change billing information. I’m sure it is for business purposes, but it seems like Netflix has no problem inconveniencing their customers as long as they don’t inconvenience themselves.
Netflix should be a technologically advanced company with the technical capabilities of integrating websites. Look at Google, they can devour just about any company, and integrate their website into your current user ID, but according to the letter from Reed Hastings, this will not be so. This is what it said:
A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated. So if you subscribe to both services, and if you need to change your credit card or email address, you would need to do it in two places. Similarly, if you rate or review a movie on Qwikster, it doesn’t show up on Netflix, and vice-versa.
– Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO
Link to Message
If you have both Netflix and Qwikster, then you will need to do the following:
- Log into two separate websites.
- Rate movies on both sites.
- Update billing and contact information on both websites.
Out of all of this, there is only one customer-centric feature I see being added to the entire mess: they are trying to add video games to the Qwikster service.
Netflix: Putting Customers Second
Netflix operates in a service business, and the arrogance of their CEO is clearly permeating throughout the company as a whole. The problem with being arrogant in a service business is that customers will get tired of you and go elsewhere. Think Blockbuster. Netflix is no longer customer-centric, they are clearly self-centered in their implementations. Rather than spend the time, money, and resources to seamlessly integrate the two sites together, they are going to rush this haphazardly to market.
They are implementing these two websites for business purposes, they are essentially re-structuring the company, but they aren’t trying to minimize the impact on customers. Instead, they are putting the onus entirely on their customers and they are arrogant enough to think that they’ll just accept it because Netflix is Netflix. I’ve heard a loud noise resounding after Netflix’s actions, and it continues to reverberate.
Netflix May Face the Same Fate as Blockbuster
If Netflix doesn’t change their philosophies soon, then you’re looking at the next Blockbuster about to be overtaken by some very hungry competition. It is no longer year 2000, competition is ready to bust into this market, and Netflix is making it quite easy for them. They’ve already given their competition about 600,000 customers. How many more are you willing to give up Netflix? If I were a Netflix shareholder right now, I’d be shaking.
Netflix and Qwikster Alternatives & Competitors:
- Roku – They aren’t a direct competitor, but are a means to much of the competition.
- Blockbuster & Blockbuster Express
- Amazon Instant Video – Added bonus of free 2-day shipping on Amazon orders.
- Hulu Plus
- Apple TV