There’s another change afoot at Netflix, and, this time around, the company’s CEO hopes customers don’t balk at it quite like they did the last time the rental service shook things up. In a blog post published yesterday — just days after Netflix’s stock fell almost 15 percent — Reed Hastings apologized to users for how the company handled the announcement back in July that it would split their DVD and streaming services, charging customers more money to take advantage of both. “I messed up,” Hastings wrote. “It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility … That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.”
Hastings goes on to explain why Netflix chose to split the services, pointing towards an evolving market. “We realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently,” he wrote.
So, Netflix has decided to re-brand its DVD service, which will now be named Qwikster. (Hastings says the company chose the name to evoke quick delivery.) “Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name,” Hastings wrote. Customers can access their DVD cues at Qwikster.com, and will now be able to take advantage of video game rentals.
There is, however, one more downside to the new separation. Since the Netflix and Qwikster sites will no longer be integrated, users will have to subscribe to both services, entering in their credit card information separately. But never fear, purists: Hastings says the red envelopes are here to stay. “The Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy,” Hastings wrote. “The new envelope is still that distinctive 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 the same for many of you.”