If you're waking up this morning to a feeling that something may have changed overnight, you'd be right. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings decided that now would be a great time to start a new business. So he did. It's called Qwikster, and it's a new company by Netflix
. Excited yet? Hold your horses. After upping the overall price on their offerings earlier in the year, Netflix has now spun their DVD-by-mail business off entirely, hence, the newly formed Qwikster. As of today, "Netflix" refers only to the streaming side of things. "Quickster" refers to the DVD-by-mail side of things. And the fun is just getting started.
In a lengthy blog post penned this evening on The Official Netflix Blog, Reed stated that Andy Rendich, who has been working on our DVD service for 12 years, and leading it for the last 4 years, will be the CEO of Qwikster. Qwikster isn't quite ready for launch yet, but it's coming. "In a few weeks" according to Reed. It is merely a renamed version of the Netflix DVD website, but with the addition of video games. That's right, video games. In other words, GameFly just gained a huge competitor. And that's a market where rivals seem needed; GameFly's rates are what we would consider "delicious," and hopefully a little pressure from the folks at Netflix will put them in their place, so to speak.
It's clear that physical DVD rentals aren't going to be a driving force in the market for as long as movie streaming will be. Streaming is just getting started. There are hundreds of countries out there that Netflix can still launch in. The beginning is just beginning, in a way. Will Qwikster have a future? Probably, at least for a while. Pricing isn't changing for folks who want to just keep things as-is, but there will be two different charges to their credit card now, and they will have to deal with separate movie queues and rating sections. Are you willing to put up with the changes? Do you think it's the right think for Netflix in the long haul?