In 2011 Netflix was the world’s largest online movie rental service. Its subscribers paid to have DVDs delivered to their homes through the U.S. mail, or to access and watch unlimited TV shows and movies streamed over the Internet to their TVs, mobile devices, or computers. On September 18, 2011 Netflix CEO and Co-Founder Reed Hastings announced on the Netflix blog that the company was splitting its DVD delivery service from its online streaming service, rebranding its DVD delivery service Qwikster as a way to differentiate it from its online streaming service, and creating a new website for it. Three weeks later, in response to customer outrage and confusion, Hastings rescinded the to rebrand the DVD delivery service Qwikster and re-integrating it into Netflix. Nevertheless, by October 24, 2011, only five weeks after the initial split, Netflix acknowledged that it had lost 800,000 US subscribers and expected to lose yet more, thanks both to the Qwikster debacle and the price hike the company had decided was necessary to cover increasing content costs.6
Despite this setback, Netflix continued to believe that by providing the cheapest and best subscription-paid, commercial-free streaming of movies and TV shows it could still rapidly and profitably fulfill its envisioned goal to become the world’s best entertainment distribution platform.
Did Netflix underestimate the push-back from their price increase?
Did Netflix underestimate the bad publicity from their new pricing structure