The apology and explanatory email started off with this:
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.
True. I don’t want to use two websites from the same company to achieve the same thing.
And just like that, Qwikster’s streaming of bits dried up before it really got going as a seperate subscription service. To be honest, I’m not sure what Netflix was thinking when they made this move. Why would you dilute your brand and confuse your current and future customers?
I’m a big fan of Netflix. I like their business model, they have great customer service, and they provide something that I want: entertainment. I think Netflix forgot the business they are in, even if it was just a lapse in judgment. It reminds me of when the U.S. railroads lost focus as a mode of transportation, leading to the decline of passenger rail. Netflix was trying to force a technology shift from DVDs to streaming onto their customers. But guess what? We didn’t care.
Netflix forgot, albeit briefly, that they are in the entertainment business. As a customer, I just want to watch movies. To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s on a DVD or streaming through my Roku box. Tomorrow it might be a different technology, but the end result will still be the same—I just want to watch a movie.
At the end of the day, Netflix should just worry about providing a subscription to their portfolio of movies. Customers are mostly concerned about watching a movie and having a good experience while watching. It doesn’t really matter how it’s delivered, we’re paying Netflix for access and convenience. Don’t burden customers with how you internally divide your revenue stream because of changes in consumer trends or other market conditions. Keep it simple. Keep the movies flowing.