Netflix separates DVD service into Qwikster

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So, Netflix is going to further separate out DVD-by-mail from network streaming and now there’s going to be Qwikster. Aside from reminding me of that Netsle’s drink mix, it’s a bit sad that logo and web address will change. More interesting, is how much of a firewall will there be between the companies. Specifically, would Qwikster revenues ever be used to acquire new licenses for streaming? Also, how much does billing service cost per transaction, as now users will have two charges on their credit card — one for each service.

Aside from that, there’s that pesky de(s)-integration of a single queue concept for those, who uses both. I suppose it’s logical to presume that people will be pushed one way or the other to just have dvd-by-mail service or streaming. It also means that for many movies, that are not available for streaming, users will have to search twice — re-login into Qwikster, do the search, add to queue there, etc. UI-wise it’s way more awkward than “Not available for streaming — add to your mail queue?” and I certainly hope there’ll be some technical solution to re-integrate services back.

From technical point of view, I understand advantages of two teams having two domain names (heck, I’m a developer, I know how much easier it is to just split things than marrying cat-and-dog back-end systems). Though I probably wouldn’t have listed that as one of the primary problems this solves.

I expect there will be even more screams from users (especially DVD-and-streaming ones, now to be forced into two sites). Biggest advantage — official “Aye” for videogame rental service (Gamefly is probably already slightly panicking). The most interesting thing to watch — how user flow and profitability levels change. It’s a fascinating real-life example that allows you to see transition from older technology to new one (with added drama of movie studios trying to resist it). Fun times ahead! Oh, and the popcorn is ready 🙂

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