I received an email this morning from Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix, outlining some of the changes that are going to be occurring in the future in regards to Netflix. I’m sure everyone received this email, but it’s kind of long so I wouldn’t doubt if most just deleted it, or just didn’t care, so I’ll explain a little bit of what’s going on.
As you all I’m sure know, Netflix has decided that it’s DVD and streaming services need to be 2 different services and no longer is streaming just an added bonus of your DVD-by-mail plan. You now have to select a plan for DVDs and a plan for streaming. This means for people like me who had 2-at-a-time DVDs which included unlimited streaming for X amount of dollars I now have a 2-at-a-time DVD plan for X amount of dollars and an unlimited streaming plan for X amount of dollars… and those dollars went up. I will be honest, lately I’ve found myself not using the DVD service as much so I decided to drop it down to 1-at-a-time which negates the price increase, but also leaves me with 1 less DVD at a time… I think I can handle it since I used to have DVDs sitting on my coffee table for months, thus negating the point of not buying DVDs in the first place. So I don’t really mind the new pricing structure that Netflix has going on, but that’s not all that’s going on.
This latest email explains that “Netflix” is no longer going to offer DVD rentals and they will be strictly streaming only. Now before you get all upset let me explain. “Netflix” is going to be streaming only, but “Qwikster” is going to be DVDs along with video games in the near future. Netflix is just spinning off the DVD rental service into it’s own (dying) brand so that they can focus on bringing streaming to your house using the powerful Netflix brand name. Now with this spin off there are going to be a few changes, some of which I don’t like.
- Netflix.com will only maintain your streaming queue and movies.
- Qwikster.com will only maintain your DVD and video game queues.
- You will now have 2 different companies billing your credit card, qwikster for your DVD plan and Netflix for your streaming plan.
- Video games will make it onto qwikster soon, but just like blu-ray you’ll have to pay an extra premium. No word on how much.
Those are the major changes that I got out of the email. I’m a little annoyed that there are now going to be 2 separate websites that I have to goto in order to maintain my movie queues as well as the fact that I’ll now have 2 separate charges (which will equal the same amount I pay now) from each company. I am excited about the fact that they are bringing video games into the mix, but I’ll hold my excitement in until I see how much the premium is that they are charging… sucks for Gamefly.
So that’s what’s going on with Netflix right now. I’m glad that Hastings sent out an email explaining the changes this time instead of just releasing a press release to the world. The email seems a bit more intimate and it sounds like this is the direction the company needs to go in order to stay relevant. Like I’ve said, as long as these changes allow for better/more movies to be added to the streaming service I’m all for it. It’s hard for me to even say that because I’ve been a supporter of physical media for the longest time, but it’s hard to deny the fact that streaming is making a huge impact on the world and seems like where we’re headed. Now if only Comcast would remove their bandwidth cap so we could not worry about streaming too much.
Apparently there is a video from Hastings that explains all of what I said above.