Qwikster

Not too long ago Netflix announced that it was splitting its DVD/Blu-ray subscription service off from its streaming service and renaming it Qwikster. It was a move that everyone hated. Under this plan, customers who wanted to use both the streaming service and the DVD-by-mail service would now have to log in to two websites, pay two bills, and rate the movies they watch in two different places. It was a bad idea that would have inconvenienced a huge portion of the company’s customer base, and it also gave the impression that DVD subscribers were second class citizens who could expect less and less service for their money as time went on; so they killed it before it ever even launched. But the problems that the company were trying to solve by creating Qwikster still exist. Their disc rental service only exists in the U.S., and their streaming service is something that they want to expand all over the world. Most of their customers don’t do the DVD subscription, and have the streaming service only (they have 11.1mDVD subscribers and 21.6m streaming subscribers). This makes for a messy user experience when streaming only customers search their site and come up with results for movies that they can’t actually watch. Using Netflix.com is more confusing than it needs to be so that the company can continue to cater to an ever-shrinking group of customers located in the U.S. who are still renting discs. So the company is taking another crack at […]

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Looks like Netflix is again going back on a controversial decision, but perhaps too late to salvage any customers it might have lost in the first place. Last year, Netflix cut its bread-and-butter plan: the DVD-0nly version that launched the company to begin with. CEO Reed Hastings has made no bones about the fact that he thinks that streaming is the wave of the future and that the DVD arm of their business will steadily decline “forever” until they’re left with nothing but a pile of really expensive coasters while their customers happily consume film after film after television series on Watch Instantly. Yet, despite what Hastings thinks, and despite the popularity of Watch Instantly, cutting DVD-only plans apparently hasn’t worked out for the company, because they’re bringing them back. In a post on the official Netflix blog (via Gizmodo), the company announces that customers can again sign up for a DVD-only plan. The plans start at just $7.99/month, and will include access to  around 100,000 titles on DVD. Upgrades to Blu-ray will cost an additional two dollars per disc. Over at /Film, they note that DVD-only plans never truly went away, but they were not available as a standalone choice when a subscriber first signed up, and it required some silly and complicated rejiggering to get to a DVD-only service. As they note,  “since last year, Netflix has only allowed new customers to sign up for its Watch Instantly service. Once an account had been set up, subscribers had the […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with Lucky McKee about his disturbing new horror film The Woman. Plus, we launch a new feature for the month of October where horror filmmakers discuss a favorite horror film. This week, A Horrible Way To Die and You’re Next writer Simon Barrett praises an obscure modern classic. As if that weren’t enough, FSR Associate Editor Rob Hunter goes mano a mano with Film.com‘s Eric D. Snider in a test of wits and movie news acumen. Download This Episode

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We try to keep cursing in the headlines down a minimum in case small children or animals are toddling by an RSS feed, but seriously, Netflix‘s very public business-making decisions lately have demanded a little swearing. It’s a company that started with an innovative idea, but it’s also a company that provides DVDs through the postal service and streaming video. Beyond that, it shouldn’t be rocket surgery. Of course, maybe it’s not that the company has made a few bad decisions lately, but that so many have been broadcast or celebrated publicly before slinking back into the shadows of shame that is what’s so damning. The latest blunder disguised as a shrewd move? Netflix is responding to its stock prices by killing Qwikster before it was even implemented. The company had intended to split their DVD and streaming services into two products, meaning that dual-users would have had to create a Qwikster account and keep up with their Netflix streaming queue. Two queues is apparently way too much for our media-addled minds (especially when you also have Get Glue and Four Square to check into). It’s excellent to see a company respond to such vehement negative customer response, but it’s also one more sign of weakness. Instead of moving forward with the service and letting customers get used to it (or, hell, even grow to like it), Netflix has admitted it was moronic by aborting it. Hopefully this is the last bad dance step. In a short, sweet email to […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we speak with legendary actor Ron Perlman about his white dreadlocks in Bunraku, we’ll chat with The Dark Knight Rises executive producer Michael Uslan about his incredible journey to bringing Batman to the screen, and we’ll talk with Brian Salisbury and Luke Mullen about favorite films from Fantastic Fests past to get excited for the debauchery of this week. Plus, Screenrant editors/Screenrant Underground Podcast hosts Ben Kendrick and Rob Keyes fight to the pain in our Movie News Pop Quiz. Is it any wonder we end up talking about Qwikster? Download This Episode

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There was a brief period where Netflix worked so well that it was like magic. For a small fee you could consume as many movies as you wanted from a gigantic library, through DVDs sent back and forth in the mail between you and the service. Then the company launched their Watch Instantly service, and suddenly you could watch a portion of their library even more easily by streaming them right from the website. At first that was a free option, built right into your subscription, but eventually the pricing structures switched around so that you were paying a bit for both. Not a problem, Netflix was still a near magical service that allowed film enthusiasts, even those who lived in the country and not in cultural epicenters, greater access to more movies than they’ve ever had in their lives. Eventually use of Watch Instantly exploded, it was a hugely popular service that had lower overhead costs than shipping DVDs through mail, Netflix seemed to have two huge cash cows in their hands. But that’s where the problems started.

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