Netflix is splitting up its two products – DVD delivery and streaming – into two separate sites. You’ll be able to continue to log into Netflix to access streaming, but a new site called Qwikster will handle all the physical media stuff from now on. Aside from renaming its DVD service, Andy Rendich will step in as CEO to head the new Qwikster operation.
The name was chosen because the company wanted to refer to its “quick delivery” of DVDs. There will be no change to current Netflix customers: if you’re subscribed to both, it’ll appear as two entries on your statement.
The official change won’t come for a few more weeks, but Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explained the decision in a company blog post:
So 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. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.
Qwikster will also offer a video game upgrade—similar to the current upgrade option for Blu-ray users—for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. The company promises that there is also more to come, including improvements to Netflix’s streaming services.
There are a couple of downsides with the change, though. For example, you’ll no longer be able to update account information through just one site – you’ll have to manually input it into each site for the changes to go into effect for both services. Ratings will also be separate from each other, and if a movie is not available for streaming, you’ll no longer get automatic notifications about whether its available on Qwikster.
But the bright shining spot in this piece of news? There won’t be any more price increases for the time being.