Netflix’s apology uncovers something much worse

This morning I, along with 23 million others, received an email from Reed Hastings apologizing for keeping everyone in the dark about the changes afoot at Netflix. These changes weren’t simply the price increase for DVD + Streaming use, it also includes a total rebranding and restructuring of the company.

Now Netflix, as far as physical media goes, will be called Qwikster. Yes you will be able to get games as well as DVDs in the mail now but it will be a totally different site which does not connect to Netflix at all. Netflix will become solely the streaming service. The names are explained as follows.

Netflix because they are Internet flicks aka interNET FLIcksX versus Qwikster because its QuWIcKSTER. Not only is the name stupid, but breaking this once great company into two for nearly any reason is stupid. Seriously though, Qwikster is a horrible name. It sounds like a Napster clone.

You will now receive two bills each month, one for Netflix and one for Qwikster. We still don’t know for sure of stock owners’ situation. They originally held stock in a DVD mailing fulfillment company. Then they owned stock in a DVD mail fulfillment and video streaming company. Now they own stock in a DVD and games mail fulfillment company and a separate video streaming company.

Finally, why this change is truly horrible? Check out the new process for renting a DVD.

It can now take up to twice as many steps to rent a DVD in the mail if streaming is not an option. Instead of it all being under one roof, Netflix.com, you will have to first search Netflix and then search Qwikster. You will also have to have the two completely separate memberships and will have to manage two distinctly different movie queues.

This is the most insane part. Netflix, what were you thinking? Reed Hastings, how did you create such an amazing and innovative company only to pull a HPCompaq-Palm, AOL-Time Warner and drown it with obstacles, barriers and complications?

In a modern world where everyone else is scrambling to catch up to Netflix in both subscribers, available content, streamlining and awareness; Netflix just gave everyone else in the game a massive boost.

Oh and let’s not forget the ten years of branding and name recognition we have with Netflix. Qwikster has now become yet another company and service that will have to be re-explained to the masses.

“Qwikster, it’s like the old Netflix only now it’s really like the new Netflix but you have to wait a few days to enjoy your movie.”

What were you thinking? Am I alone in this? Is this not just a horrible mistake? 

50 thoughts on “Netflix’s apology uncovers something much worse

  1. @nickjungman it’s pretty amazing isn’t it? A blunder only the likes of Carleton Fiorina, Gerald M. Levin and Stephen M. Case could have made

  2. @nickjungman it’s pretty amazing isn’t it? A blunder only the likes of Carleton Fiorina, Gerald M. Levin and Stephen M. Case could have made

  3. @jjeremiahcasey @nickjungman glad to see I am not alone in my thinking. I can only imagine how this will affect their stock today.

  4. @jjeremiahcasey @nickjungman glad to see I am not alone in my thinking. I can only imagine how this will affect their stock today.

  5. @justex07 I think I get the need to separate that business financially (expensive, fading). But it makes little sense from customer’s POV.

  6. @justex07 I think I get the need to separate that business financially (expensive, fading). But it makes little sense from customer’s POV.

  7. @nickjungman It looks to me that they don’t see it as fading as they are also expanding their DVD rental service to include games.

  8. @nickjungman It looks to me that they don’t see it as fading as they are also expanding their DVD rental service to include games.

  9. @justex07 they could eliminate so much of that with SSO. Hell, even amazon seamlessly pushes you to external websites for some products.

  10. @justex07 they could eliminate so much of that with SSO. Hell, even amazon seamlessly pushes you to external websites for some products.

  11. @nickjungman I would agree if there was an accounting reason to break it, go ahead, but maintain the familiar interface and easy of use.

  12. @nickjungman I would agree if there was an accounting reason to break it, go ahead, but maintain the familiar interface and easy of use.

  13. @richmackey And if they REALLY had to change their name, Netflix and Netflix Streaming would have worked just great. We already use them! 😀

  14. @richmackey And if they REALLY had to change their name, Netflix and Netflix Streaming would have worked just great. We already use them! 😀

  15. @justex07 I’m assuming they expect to spin it off or sell it. Games could buoy it short-term, but long-term everything streams.

  16. @justex07 I’m assuming they expect to spin it off or sell it. Games could buoy it short-term, but long-term everything streams.

  17. @nickjungman absolutely and totally agree. Obviously they agree that Qwikster has short-life, otherwise it would maintain the Netflix name.

  18. @nickjungman absolutely and totally agree. Obviously they agree that Qwikster has short-life, otherwise it would maintain the Netflix name.

  19. @justex07 Very true. Or Netflix instant and Netflix by Mail – two services from Netflix parent. Supporting two distinct brands is pricey.

  20. @justex07 Very true. Or Netflix instant and Netflix by Mail – two services from Netflix parent. Supporting two distinct brands is pricey.

  21. @richmackey the Qwikster name isn’t just expensive to carry two brands, to rebrand is significantly worse on so many levels.

  22. @richmackey the Qwikster name isn’t just expensive to carry two brands, to rebrand is significantly worse on so many levels.

  23. @nickjungman @richmackey It reminds me of Coca-Cola vs Pepsi. One maintained an image and became #1, one changes all the time, distant #2.

  24. @nickjungman @richmackey It reminds me of Coca-Cola vs Pepsi. One maintained an image and became #1, one changes all the time, distant #2.

  25. @justex07 absolutely. I investigated it several times at my old company. In the end was better to fix 1 damage brand than change or split.

  26. @justex07 absolutely. I investigated it several times at my old company. In the end was better to fix 1 damage brand than change or split.

  27. You didn’t get the email? That is indeed lame, even more lame than the email and plan itself!

  28. You didn’t get the email? That is indeed lame, even more lame than the email and plan itself!

  29. @justex07 I think you were among the first out with a real critique. A lot of what I read just rehashed the letter. no implications.

  30. @justex07 I think you were among the first out with a real critique. A lot of what I read just rehashed the letter. no implications.

  31. @richmackey that is key to getting people interested and sharing content. Not just curating but also creating real, unique content.

  32. @richmackey that is key to getting people interested and sharing content. Not just curating but also creating real, unique content.

  33. @justex07 yep. Have an opinion. Put a stake in the ground. Assert implications. I need to do more of that. 🙂

  34. @justex07 yep. Have an opinion. Put a stake in the ground. Assert implications. I need to do more of that. 🙂

  35. No i didn’t and still have not received one 😀 if it weren’t for you i’d never have known!

  36. No i didn’t and still have not received one 😀 if it weren’t for you i’d never have known!

  37. Maybe they were rolling them out and realized how stupid that email was haha. Glad I can be your news source 😛

  38. Maybe they were rolling them out and realized how stupid that email was haha. Glad I can be your news source 😛

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