Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Troubles for Netflix

Netflix went from a company of ease to a company of disease in relatively short time this summer.  First there was a price hike that was arrogant in launching and really only served to drive people away.  And then there was Qwikster.

For those who haven't heard, Netflix, in the upcoming weeks, will only stream movies.  Qwikster will be responsible for shipping DVDs and video games (which I suppose is the hitch that everyone is waiting for -- though quite honestly if it wanted to attract consumers it would also offer porn).  Customers will have two separate bills and two separate queues to monitor.  While Qwikster has yet to launch, I can't imagine this being easier for the customer to use.  General comments online find people stating they will go to Blockbuster instead.  How bad must a situation be that Blockbuster is seen as a solution?  Bad.

I avoided Netflix for years.  I would get films at my local video store, Video Experience here in Eureka, California.  When that store closed, I turned to Netflix because I didn't like what I was left with here in town.  I started streaming once I bought a Wii.  The price hike came about a year later, and I decided to stick with the company.  It's not like I could get The Sinful Dwarf in town.  And more obscure foreign flicks?  Forget it.  There are a lot of cinemaphiles in Eureka, but few make the local video rental shack their first choice.

With the announcement of Qwikster, I'm left wondering how viable it will be.  Will it cost even more?  Will the selection be as good?  How easy will it be to navigate and switch over queues?  Instead of a knee jerk reaction, I'm willing to try it out before being relegated to the shitty selection of Eureka's "finest."  (In all honesty, if I don't get DVDs from Qwikster I'll probably end up buying what films I want to watch and then selling them if I don't want to keep them.)  Do I think Qwikster is a good idea?  Most certainly not.  I am troubled by the split as there seems to be no reason for it ... unless one wants more money.  If there is a price hike with this company, too, it will spell doom for it.  It makes no real sense that I can see unless it is all about another price hike with one company (the new one) set up to feel the wrath of angry subscribers.

The next few weeks will be interesting.  I wonder what else is in store ...

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