Netflix Pulls Plug on Qwikster
October 11th, 2011 by
You may recall that we were mulling over the whole Netflix situation only a few weeks ago, which has seemed to be getting more ridiculous ever since the company announced pricing changes in July that made users choke on their dinners. Twice the price for what they were getting before? Streaming-only services? People were just starting to recover, but Netflix had clearly spent a lot of time sitting alone in the dark listening to sad music; they knew they hadn’t pleased their audience. And so they decided to try to make it better (which as, many men can attest to, never works).
I guess the Qwikster debacle was more than they could handle, what with people getting more upset than ever (not to mention the stoner squatting on the Qwikster Twitter account and all that jazz). Netflix has updated their blog yet again and emailed all their users to let us know that Qwikster is not going forward after all, which looks about as professional as taking off your shirt at an office party. There was also no word about the aforementioned video game rental plan that Qwikster was going to include, so I suppose we can assume that has been scrapped as well. Oh, the hoopla.
What does this mean for Netflix now? Well, their stock has suffered dramatically since the original price change announcement. As of today their shares are still down 4.4%, which means this whole Qwikster cancellation thing has not eased anyone’s mind yet. Maybe Netflix didn’t go ahead with the crazy plan, but they announced the crazy plan and then reneged on it, which kind of makes them look even more nutty and unstable even if it was the right thing to do. It’s no surprise that investors don’t feel comfortable. It is commendable that Netflix has paid attention to the social media buzz surrounding the unpopular decision and realized that they’ve made a dumb move, but it also signifies that they aren’t thinking through major decisions enough — which is not a great sign for a company their size.
What do you think — are you relieved there will be no Qwikster, or are you disappointed in the parent company for caving to the negative social media hubbub?