Netflix spins DVD rentals into new business dubbed ‘Qwikster’

By on September 19, 2011 at 7:45 AM.

Netflix spins DVD rentals into new business dubbed ‘Qwikster’

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a letter to subscribers on Monday stated that Netflix will no longer operate the DVD rental-by-mail service that carried it to the top of the home entertainment industry. Instead, Netflix will be a streaming-only service while the DVD rental business — which will soon add video games to its portfolio — is spun off and rebranded Qwikster. “I messed up. I owe you an explanation,” Hastings’ letter to Netflix customers begins. “It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.” The chief executive continued, attempting to clarify that streaming is the company’s future and this is why it began the process of separating its two services last year. The spin-off of Qwikster as a DVD rental business is the last step in that process, and while investors aren’t terribly happy with the company right now, the move allows Netflix to concentrate on its future: streaming content. Hastings’ full letter to subscribers follows below. More →

37 Comments

Blockbuster tries to lure customers back following acquisition

By on August 2, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

Blockbuster tries to lure customers back following acquisition

Following bankruptcy and an ensuing acquisition at auction, Blockbuster is now trying to lure back the hordes of customers it lost to competitors like Redbox and Netflix. A BGR reader sent us a letter that Blockbuster is circulating to recent defectors in an effort to win back their business in a post-Dish Network world. Among the carrots Blockbuster is currently dangling are a free 30-day Total Access trial and a “special rate,” though that special rate is not disclosed in the email. Blockbuster’s Total Access service was created as a direct response to Netflix, offering DVD rentals by mail just as Netflix does, though Blockbuster’s option is now more affordable following Netflix’s price hikes. Of course Total Access used to be a much more attractive option than it is in its current state, but the lower pricing and the quicker availability of new titles could be attractive benefits over rival Netflix. Blockbuster’s letter to former Total Access customers can be found below. More →

25 Comments