Netflix Spawns Qwikster: Why?

Netflix's smartest move was disassociating themselves from DVD and Blu-ray.

By , Contributor

Qwikster is dead already. That sounds drastic, but have you looked around the Internet today? Following Twitter threads prove people are already digging a grave for the "new" DVD-by-mail service.

So is Netflix.

I know, it sounds ridiculous, but what else are they going to do with it? Maybe they'll give it a shot; there's a reason they added games, but Qwikster is a death trap for DVD renters.

It's one thing to re-brand. Naming the DVD/Blu-ray service something different, regardless of how ridiculous it is, doesn't mean a thing. Creating a second entity entirely does. Forcing people to manage separate queues on separate sites? That's as mind-numbing a customer service move you'll ever see.

Netflix doesn't care about physical media anymore. Why should they? Even with a shoddy streaming selection, they still hauled in millions of people and managed to chew up 30% of the Internet's bandwidth. Even though they're under a metaphoric gun from looming contract negotiations, DVD still doesn't matter to them.

They'll lose even more DVD/Blu-ray customers now, disgusted with the increasing number of hoops they need to dive through to get a disc and the rising cost associated with the service. Slowly, they'll be phased out, and the name Qwikster will die off with no harm to the Netflix name. That "A Netflix company" bit on the banner has little impact.

That type of thing matters to the stock market and investors. If Qwikster fails (and it likely will), Netflix still has yet to fail at anything they do, regardless of what the consumer base thinks. Raising prices wasn't a mistake, it was a necessity.

Qwikster's only hope is that someone buys it and takes it off Netflix's hands. Maybe with another holiday season, Blu-ray will finally take hold, and that's a risk someone with more money than sense is willing to take. Stranger things have happened, and maybe the service is on the market to an eager buyer.

Regardless, Netflix squeezes out of a market it used to dominate without a scratch.

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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