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In an effort to stop hemorrhaging customers after its already infamous sixty-percent price hike, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has sent out an email to subscribers, and posted on the company blog, offering both a profuse apology and an announcement of the company's new DVD-mailing service, Qwikster.
Aside from reminding you of an instant-messaging service that never quite caught on circa 1998 (seriously, that name), Qwikster will offer classic Netflix DVD-mailing service as well as optional video-game rentals, just under a separate name that according to the company refers to its "quick delivery." This also means that queues for users who choose to have both services will be separate — if something isn't available on streaming, you have to go all the way over to Qwikster to add it to your DVD queue.
Hastings begins his letter simply by saying, "I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation," and continuing, "We realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently." He also filmed a video introducing Qwikster's new CEO, Andy Rendich, which you can check out below.
Initial responses are mixed — some say it's a necessary move, some say it's clumsy and needlessly complicated — but either way it's just as bold a move as the original price increase, so we'll see how Hastings fares in the aftermath.