Netflix Splits DVD Delivery and Streaming Services into Two Separate Sites

Illustration for article titled Netflix Splits DVD Delivery and Streaming Services into Two Separate Sites

Well this is one way to go. Netflix has split its DVD delivery and streaming services into two separate sites. Netflix proper will continue to handle the streaming, and the DVDs will be handled by a new site called Qwikster.


Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on the company's official blog that because DVD and streaming were becoming such different services, the company felt it would be able to best serve its customers by splitting streaming and DVDs into separate sites.

Qwikster will offer the same service as Netflix's current DVD delivery system, with the new option of a renting video games in a model similar to the current Blu-ray upgrade.


Hastings apologized for the "arrogant" way that the company handled recent price increases (Translation: PLEASE STOP UNSUBSCRIBING!!!). He claims that pricing won't change any further; if you're subscribed to both services now, you'll just have two entries on your statement at the same net cost you now pay (post price bump). He also claimed that Netflix's streaming services would have some major additions over the next few months, despite failing to hold onto Starz.

The two sites will be autonomous, though, so if you need to change your payment information, for example, you'll have to do it twice. You'll also lose some more granular functions, like if a movie is not available for streaming, you'll no longer be automatically updated on if it's available on DVD—you'll have to search Qwikster separately. The two sites also won't communicate ratings and preferences, so while your current ratings catalogue will be imported to both sites at launch, they'll operate independently of one another from there, which seems like a giant pain.

We're still sorting out all of the specifics, but this decision seems more than a bit thrown together. Hastings seemed caught off guard by a few of the questions he personally answered in the comments of his post, and Netflix somehow failed to notice the foul-mouthed pot smoker squatting on the @Qwikster Twitter handle. But hey, at least the price isn't going up any further. For now. (We think.) [Netflix]

You can keep up with Kyle Wagner, the author of this post, on Twitter and sort of Google+.


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I think the part Netflix doesn't understand is that there's a huge benefit to getting everything in one place.

It's a reason many people haven't dropped cable to assemble a collection of a la carte streaming services - it's simple to have one point of contact.

If these are going to have separate sites, it's VERY different than one site with checkboxes for two complimentary services.

Further, the ability to go to one site to find a movie and see how it's available, instead of comparing it on multiple sites, is a benefit. What happens with separate sites is that HackingNetflix or FeedFlix or whatever will start to aggregate what's streaming on other sites (the way a price search site compiles many online stores) and that only serves to show customers options to take their money elsewhere. It's why Amazon wants to list everything you can ever buy so that you never even look at Target's site.