This morning I got an email from Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix. He apologized for the company’s lack of tact in unveiling its new pricing structure earlier this summer, and in this email announced that the company was splitting its DVD-by-mail business into an entirely new company: Qwikster.
Twitter this morning has been afire with anti-Netflix rage. It boils down to these points: first, Qwikster’s a fucking awful name. Second, Netflix has failed to demonstrate any sense of actual apology in their email and is still bungling shit and is basically just dumb, dumb, dumb.
I think Netflix is fucking brilliant.
My reaction when I heard that there would be an entirely new website I’d have to use to manage my physical DVDs was this: “It isn’t worth it.” I think most people feel that way – given the choice between streaming and discs, streaming wins out.
I think Netflix’s ultimate game plan is to kill the DVD format. It makes sense. Studios upset with Netflix could always band together to launch their own service, or just drop prices on DVDs, or whatever. But as far as streaming goes, just about everyone I know already has a Netflix account. Almost everyone I know has high-speed internet which makes streaming possible.
Anyway, my theory of how Netflix wants this to work out:
-Split DVD and streaming services.
-People abandon the DVD service in drives.
-Studios say “WTF?” because folks who abandoned disc rentals aren’t buying movies they want to see, they’re just making do with what they’ve got already, or on streaming.
-Netflix says “Let’s talk more rights negotiations.”
-DVD dies as a format (Blu Ray exists as laserdiscs did in the 90s)
-Netflix rules triumphant (Amazon rues the day…)