Netflix Axes Qwickster Killing Plan to Split

After only a few weeks since their announcement of Netflix breaking off into two services (one for streaming and one for DVD/game rental), the company has decided to axe the new Qwickster service. I like to think Netflix read my blog post Netflix’s apology uncovers something much worse a few weeks ago.

I’m glad they are doing this. In my previous post, I highlighted why this would be a terrible idea based on a few factors, the most important being the ease of use. The breaking apart of Netflix into two services could double the number of steps it takes to rent a movie. For a company known for its simplicity, this didn’t make sense. Continue reading

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.

Qwikster is a Netflix company

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.

Netflix Restructuring Usage FlowchartIt 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? 

My Massive iTunes Library

You might remember, since it was my last post, that when I updated my iTunes to 7.7.1, it crashed my iTunes Library.  I had to start from scratch.  One reader posted a question in my comments.  ZC asked, did I really have the music, why would I have that much media, is it all legal/illegal; etc etc.

ZC.

I most certainly do have that much music, or I did before the crash.  Some numbers have dropped but I retained about 95% of my media.

Why so much?  Well, I don’t pay for cable/satellite and I live in an area where picking up HD over the air is not very feasible.  I got tired of paying for HD-DVR Cable a few years ago and when the AppleTV came out, I was done with it.

Since I was in high school I had the habit of buying lots of CD‘s from Warehouse Music.  The store near my house was going out of business, for four years, and I took advantage of its slow, slow death.

I had a great job working in a chemical company’s laboratory and doing IT work, since I only had classes half of the day, I spent the last year of high school working and really racking up a large library of music.

When iTunes was released for the PC, I went berzerk.  The first thing I purchased, sadly, was Mama Mia; I was hitting on someone who wanted a copy of the CD.

Anyways, the seed was born and I put about $100/month into my iTunes account though it wasn’t uncommon for me to buy 10 CD’s from a new/used music store in a day.

I did this not only to fulfill my love of music, I did it also because I lived with four to six other people who also loved music; I had money, they did not.  I would buy music and let them stream it onto their iTunes in our home.  We had large parties at least once a week, it was college after all, and those parties required vast quantities of high quality, popular music.

Later, I would tire of paying for cable and DVR.  The whole idea of paying to watch something once was stupid to me.  Almost worse was paying to record something only to have to delete it sometime later.

Remember that episode of The OC when what’s-her-face gets drunk and makes out with who’s-that-ho?

I decided I wanted to start buying my television shows and watching them on my schedule.  Going to school, working full time, watching tv, doesn’t work.

I got the AppleTV the day it came out.  I got an iPod video, the day it came out.  I watched my television at the gym, I listened to my music and podcasts in the car.

When the AppleTV finally arrived, I was able to put these movies onto our 46″ plasma screen and off of my tiny iPod screen or my 24″ iMac screen.  That was amazing to me.

I bought more and more television this week.  I considered my cable tv bill of $70/month to be my allowance for buying television shows on iTunes/AppleTV.

Eventually I filled up the 500gb hard drive of my iMac and bought two 1TB externals, one for Time Machine and one for iTunes.

Now I have a 55″ HDTV in my apartment and a 42″ HDTV at our condo.  The 55″ HDTV is powered by my AppleTV, the 42″ is done so by my MacBook Pro through DVI/HDMI.

I am never stranded without some form of entertainment from my iPod, my iPhones (Edge and 3G versions), my iMac, my MacBook Pro or my AppleTV.  It allows me to workout longer and harder.  It keeps plane rides and bus trips barable and to me is a worthy investment.

Friends come over all the time to watch old seasons of Weeds or Damages, just like you would if you had the series on DVD.  Only now we can just click through the AppleTV and don’t have to deal with CD’s and DVD’s all over the place.

Some might think I’m crazy and some people have hundreds and thousands of more titles than I do.  It is not a bragging thing, it is just me loving media and entertainment and consuming it on my time, on my rules when I want to do it.

I hope that explains it.

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