Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Netflix Change Their Minds Again, Scrap Qwikster, No Longer Splitting Into Two Companies

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 10, 2011 at 3:30AM

Things have been pretty rosy for Netflix these last few years. Starting as a humble VHS-rental company in 1998, they swiftly became the market leader in DVD rentals, helping to pretty much bury Blockbuster, delivering one billion discs by 2007, and reaching 23.6 million subscribers as of April this year. They've also been ahead of the game in delivering a streaming system, which is, after all, where the home video market is heading, and have become the first stop for film fans looking for online content. And 2011 was going pretty well for them; they announced plans to roll out in Europe in 2012, and are going to be producing their own high content with big names involved, starting with the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey collaboration "House of Cards" next year.
2


Things have been pretty rosy for Netflix these last few years. Starting as a humble VHS-rental company in 1998, they swiftly became the market leader in DVD rentals, helping to pretty much bury Blockbuster, delivering one billion discs by 2007, and reaching 23.6 million subscribers as of April this year. They've also been ahead of the game in delivering a streaming system, which is, after all, where the home video market is heading, and have become the first stop for film fans looking for online content. And 2011 was going pretty well for them; they announced plans to roll out in Europe in 2012, and are going to be producing their own high content with big names involved, starting with the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey collaboration "House of Cards" next year.

But in recent months, the company have dropped the ball in a big way. They jacked up their pricing plan, something which suggested they were likely to lose as many as a million subscribers, and then, last month, in a complex email to subscribers, announced they would be splitting the company into two separate entities: Netflix, which would focus on streaming services, and Qwikster, who would handle DVD and Blu-Ray rental by mail, as well as incorporating video games into the mix. Two separate companies, two different services, and twenty four million subscribers who didn't really understand what was going on. But it's ok. Because Netflix have totally changed their minds.

The New York Times' Media Decoder blog have discovered that Netflix are now abandoning any plans to split the company up, and that postal and streaming services will continue to be one entity, under the Netflix banner. Spokesman Steve Shales told the Grey Lady that “We underestimated the appeal of the single Web site and a single service. We greatly underestimated it.” Which is a little bit like Ford underestimating their customers' desire to have a car with a steering wheel.

The company's chief executive, Reed Hastings, said in a statement that "Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered and we respect that. There is a difference between moving quickly — which Netflix has done very well for years — and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case.” It seems that the price hike -- from $10 a month to $16 will remain in place, and the video game plan may be withdrawn, so they're pretty much back at square one here.

There's no doubt that this is all something of a PR disaster, and it'll take them a lot of work to regain the confidence of their customers; we're sure that sound you can hear is the sound of champagne corks popping over at Hulu. But has the flip-flop put the company back in your good books? Or are you looking elsewhere for your streaming options?

This article is related to: TV Networks, NetFlix


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates