Say goodbye to Qwikster. The short-lived Netflix spinoff is no more, according to a post on the Netflix blog by CEO Reed Hastings earlier today. Henceforth, mail-order DVDs and streaming video will once again both be housed under the Netflix brand.
“It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs,” Hastings wrote. “This means no change: one website, one account, one password . . . in other words, no Qwikster.”
It was less than a month ago that Hastings made the surprise decision to rename his company's DVD rental service Qwikster, leaving the flagship Netflix to serve exclusively as the company's streaming video brand. That announcement came on the heels of a price hike last summer which separated out the streaming and mail-order rental services, so that customers who wanted both services had to pay $16, compared to the $10 they'd been charged for both services previously. Netflix’s decision to change its pricing scheme was met with widespread outrage—a fact that Hastings acknowledged in his September blog post announcing the decision to rebrand the company’s mail-order service to Qwikster.
“I messed up,” Hastings wrote at the time. “I owe everyone 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."
Hastings's post today went on to point out that the service has secured "hundreds" of new movies from a variety of television networks and Hollywood studios, but it stopped short of offering a full explanation for his decision to reverse the Qwikster rebranding. "We value our members, and we are committed to making Netflix the best place to get movies and TV shows," Hastings wrote at the end of the post.