Netflix Split: Insanity or Genius?

Following news of Qwikster, some are leaping to defend the move
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2011 9:13 AM CDT
This screen shot shows, a new website service available soon from Netflix.   (AP Photo/Netflix Inc.)

(Newser) – Netflix CEO Reed Hastings certainly sent tongues wagging when he announced last night that Netflix was spinning off its DVD business into something called "Qwikster." Was the move visionary or boneheaded? Here’s what people are saying:

  • Hastings’ post “feels like yet another failure to communicate,” complains Austin Carr of Fast Company. The move has made “the company's offerings the digital equivalent of a menu at the Cheesecake Factory,” and that’s sure to confuse “average-not-too-tech-savvy parents” everywhere.

  • David Gewirtz of ZDNet thinks it’s a branding disaster. "Qwikster. Seriously?" he writes. "It’s a bad reminder of Napster and Friendster and doesn’t have anything, really, to do with movies or videos." (Background from Hastings: " We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery.")
  • But that might be intentional. "Is a man who turned a red envelope into a symbol of near-immediate gratification really a moron?" asks Darren Murphy of Engadget. "I highly, highly doubt it." The Qwikster name "reeks of idiocy" unless "you’re proactively ridding your company of a business that will do nothing but nosedive."
  • Separating the companies allows Netflix to innovate without fear of hurting its old DVD system, argues Mark Suster of Fortune. "Reed is showing the cojones that so many others haven’t," he writes. He "can now point the Netflix business squarely at the future."

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