Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Netflix News: A Qwikster Roundup

Netflix stock hit a one-year low Tuesday, as negative reaction poured in to the astonishing news that the company is spinning off its DVD rental business into the abominably named and hard-to-spell Qwikster, while simultaneously removing customer-friendly features such as the integration of DVD and Watch Instantly queues.

Netflix has lost over half its stock value in the last two months, in the wake of a 60% price increase and the lastest miscue, which inverts Netflix's previously outstanding customer service by instead requiring customers to adapt to the future needs of Netflix. Less service for a higher price is not a winning combination.

Below is a roundup of some of the most interesting analysis I've read over the past couple days.

Darcy Travlos at Forbes: "NetFlix has just blown apart its relationship with customers for delivering a consistent experience and, from the amount of outpouring from its customers, has created an environment of distrust."

Henry Blodgett of Yahoo Finance: "...what's better for the company, in this case, is worse for most of the company's customers... Netflix's value to half of its customers has just dropped. Put differently, this seems a distinctly customer-unfriendly move. It seems so customer-unfriendly, in fact, that one suspects there is more behind it than merely the desire to have a separate management team for each company."

Ethan Smith of the Wall Street Journal: "If the CEO of Netflix Inc. were in a movie, the townspeople would be chasing him with torches and pitchforks."

Jennifer Garlen of The Examiner: "...the limited offerings of Netflix’s current streaming catalog make the consumer feel like the company has control over what the viewer watches, instead of the viewer making those choices for himself" and comments on the "feeling of being herded toward whatever Netflix can get cheaply enough to stream."

David Amerland at Social Media Today: "When it decided to change its name to Qwikster and put its prices up, not only did it lay itself open to just about every joke you can imagine concerning the company’s literacy, but it also seemed to forget to trademark the name and failed to check to see if the Twitter handle was available."

Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post has a humorous take on what Reed Hastings' now-infamous "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings but I'd do it all again" letter should have actually said to DVD subscribers, including "We tried pricing you out. That failed. Now we are trying to shame you out. Consider: Do you really have enough dignity to subscribe to something called Qwikster?"

Allahpundit of Hot Air: "Great news: Not only will Netflix be more expensive, it’ll be twice as hard to use." The article includes some interesting information on how the pricing methodology for digital streaming rights may have spurred the change.

Julianne Pepitone at CNN Money: "Netflix Can't Afford a Streaming Content War."

John P. Mello Jr. of PC World: "Blockbuster Plans September Surprise for Netflix."

Please see my original post Netflix News: Netflix Jumps the Shark? for additional commentary and links.

5 Comments:

Blogger Raquelle said...

Thank you so much for your original post about this whole debacle and for these quotes. I laughed at the Ethan Smith/Wall Street Journal one. Netflix used to be such a wonderful company. What happened?!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very welcome, Raquelle, it's something that will impact many of us one way or another. Just wish I had better news to share!

That quote gave me a chuckle too!

Best wishes,
Laura

12:25 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks for rounding up all these great quotes, Laura. If I can't enjoy Netflix, I will at least get some entertainment out of the debacle.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Yvette said...

Thanks for this, Laura. I liked it so much I posted it on my Facebook page. :)

Right now I've got both dvds and streaming, but for how long I don't know.

Depends on how this separation thing works out. I am dubious.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome, Rachel and Yvette!

Yvette, thank you for the link. I just enjoyed checking out your blog -- wonderful post on character actors!

Best wishes,
Laura

7:26 PM  

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