I messed up. I owe you an explanation.
It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.
For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn't make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.
So here is what we are doing and why.
He then goes onto to explain that they are separating Netflix streaming from Netflix DVD by mail. Shockingly, the business that made them who they are is getting a name change:
It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.
While I commend Netflix for the Mea culpa, how much of this is in response to losing 1 million Netflix customers as a result of the price change? I love Netflix, both streaming and DVD by mail. However, I still prefer DVD/Bluray due to the better video quality and the streaming library is not as extensive as Netflix's DVD library. Further, I've been a huge fan of the Netflix brand and the red envelopes I receive each month. Now they're going to say "Qwikster"? That the hell does that mean? I get that Netflix is betting on streaming to be a growing business and perhaps someday entirely replace DVD by mail, but you gotta dance with the one that brought ya success - and DVD by mail service MADE Netflix what it is.
I feel the rebranding is a another betrayal on top of the price increase betrayal. It's like when Coke became New Coke, which later fizzled and died. People hated it. At least New Coke still had Coke in the name, unlike Qwikster. Again, what the hell does Qwikster mean? Oh yeah, they said because it refers to "quick delivery" of the DVDs by mail. Quick is a relative term, especially when you're dependent on the U.S. Postal Service. Seriously, they couldn't come up with something more creative? DVDFlix maybe? Or just keep the name they have. Why was this necessary?
For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.
That is where you are wrong Reed Hastings! I doubt the name Qwikster will grow on me at all. I hate it! Time to check out Amazon Prime and other alternatives.