Even before the announcement (very) early yesterday from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that the unpopular decision to raise rates as much as 60% on joint physical and streaming media customers was being re-framed as a company split, speculation was that the massive plan cost hike was perhaps a way to herd customers into the Watch Instantly service over the DVD rental arm of the company.
Whatever Netflix’s intentions in the decision were, it appears that the handling of the transition was less than ideal, and only got worse after Hastings’ email- a missive that came off to many customers as sounding “desperate.” (Weird Al poked a bit of fun at the poorly received mail on his Twitter feed Tuesday, screenshot above.) But as the news filtered around the web, many speculated that the idea now- if not all along- is to sell off the DVD division, focusing solely on streaming media for the remaining Netflix customers.
It could be argued given the hamfisted way the transition was handled that a sale wasn’t always in the cards- and indeed, the company has a ways to go if they want to undo the damage done to the brand in the past few weeks and months as customers fled and stock tanked. But it’s true that Netflix stands to save money in the long term if the company takes some strong measures to shore up its public image and customer satisfaction level in coming weeks.
Do you think Qwikster will be sold off sooner rather than later?