Netflix Plans to Nix Qwikster, As the People Wanted

This morning, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced on the company’s blog that it would abandon plans to divide the company into two – with streaming and DVD rentals both remaining at Netflix.

The company’s decision to hold off on launching Qwikster is in response to consumer dissatisfaction expressed on the internet and points to the power social media has in enabling people to express their opinions and in allowing companies to respond to the needs and wants of the market.

The move is one in a long line of changes implemented by the company.

The first was Netflix’ price hike – from $10 to $16 a month – for both streaming and DVD rentals. While users expressed anger at the increase in prices, two months later, Netflix exacerbated consumer dissatisfaction and announced a new plan to divide the company into two – with streaming of videos remaining at Netflix and DVD rentals moving to a new company, Qwikster.

The new company would have required consumers to use two separate websites and maintain two different accounts, a change that many were dissatisfied with. Consumer outrage at the plan from Qwikster was evident on Twitter, Facebook, and comments on Netflix’s blog that announced the changes.

Consumers’ comments ranged from expression of dissatisfaction to threats of cancelling their subscriptions. “I just got your email, and, as a long-time customer, quite frankly found it to be offensive. And perhaps a devastating miscalculation for your business,” one user, David Isaacson, commented – to 4764 likes – on Netflix’s blog.

Netflix users’ outrage was evidently the driving force behind the decision to maintain one website, and it points to the growing power of social media. With comments and Tweets, consumers are able to not only relate their desires and dislikes to companies, but also to hold them accountable.

The launch of Qwikster would have come not to eager anticipation but rather a barrage of criticism. Instead of launching an unsuccessful and unwanted service, the company was instead able to respond to consumer criticism and renege on its plans for a likely disastrous venture.

Photo Credit: adria.richards

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Masuma Ahuja

Having lived on three continents, I'm particularly interested in global issues and international politics. I'm a recent graduate from Oxford, with an honors BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. I've also worked on the hill, in microfinance, and for various nonprofits and media outlets.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.