Netflix Cancels Plan for DVDs on Qwikster

VIDEO: Bloomberg TVs Sheila Dharmarajan on Netflixs DVD-rental move.
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It took a less than a month. Netflix, which alienated thousands of customers with its plan to send you DVDs on a new website, Qwikster.com, has backed off. It has killed off Qwikster.

“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,” said a blog post from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

“This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster.” (Go to Qwikster.com today and you’ll be redirected to the Netflix homepage.)

Much of the damage, of course, is done. Netflix, wildly successful in the business of mailing people DVDs ordered over the Internet, feared it would miss out on the next step — dispensing with mail and streaming everything. So it announced in September that Netflix.com would strictly be for streaming movies and TV shows, and Qwikster would become the place for its old video-by-mail business.

People hated it. Netflix was clearly killing off its original business to create a new one. The company stock dropped 50 percent from July to September.

It is recovering this morning, up about 10 percent today so far. “We value our members,” said the blog post.

The company will keep the price increase it announced in July — in the blog’s words, it was “necessary” — and the company will keep moving from DVDs-by-mail to streaming video. But it says “we are now done with prices changes.” At least for now.

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