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Tag - Qwikster
Netflix confirmed Friday that it had bought the domain DVD.com. Using frequent anonymous domain registrar MarkMonitor, it now has the easy-to-remember web address automatically redirecting to dvd.netflix.com. The domain deal was described unusually by a spokesperson talking to Domain News Wire as helping to preserve the roughly 15-year-old disc format.
Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings in the call discussing his company's fall 2011 results reaffirmed suspicions that the company was no longer working on video game rentals. The decision to cancel the Qwikster spinoff had also ended plans to rent games at the same time. The still-united company would be focused solely on its movie and TV businesses.
Netflix saw the fuller consequences of its more controversial decisions on Wednesday with results from the fall. The company added more streaming customers than it expected, 220,000, but the "continued impact" of its price hike for those keeping DVDs and streaming led to it shedding 2.76 million disc subscriptions. These, along with the costs of expansion outside of the US, dragged Netflix's profit down 13 percent year over year to $41 million.
Netflix on Friday shook up its executive staff in an attempt to control its image. Its 12-year chief marketing officer Leslie Kilgore would join the board as a regular director and was taking on marketing VP Jessie Becker as a temporary replacement. It was also appointing a new COO, former Disney communications head Jonathan Friedland.
A new Citi Investment Research study from analyst Mike Mahaney points to Netflix still increasing its share of Internet movie and TV viewing. Between May and December, Netflix's share of those watching movies on TV grew from 20 to 27 percent. Most of that came at the expense of Hulu, which was down from 19 percent to 15.
Fox and Imagine Television confirmed a major deal on Friday to get new episodes of Arrested Development. The agreement outlined by Variety would revive the cult hit TV show starting from early 2013. It reportedly won out in a fierce bidding competition with traditional TV that included Showtime, among others.
Netflix faced a tough end of the year after tough results and a more difficult fall. It lost 800,000 subscribers in the US over a combination of its price hikes for those who want to both stream and watch DVDs as well as the flip-flop on Qwikster. It ended up with 23.79 million total US customers, lower than the 24.5 million most market watchers had predicted.
Netflix chief Reed Hastings revealed in a post Monday morning that the company was reversing course on its decision to spin out its physical disc business as Qwikster. He positioned it as a direct reaction to an outcry from subscribers, who thought that the decision made access unnecessarily complicated. He didn't say whether this would drop plans for video game rentals but was direct.
Dish Network made a bet on Internet video Friday with Blockbuster Movie Pass. The service bundles satellite TV with mailed movie, TV, and game rentals as well as Internet streaming. Pitched as a rival to Netflix and Qwikster, it takes advantage of the Blockbuster rights and TV streaming to give a wider catalog of Internet video; 10,000 movies in total will stream to TVs and computers, including from Starz and others who have held out on Netflix to shelter their TV business.
Netflix chief Reed Hastings in a statement late Sunday revealed that the company was forking its traditional physical disc service out under the Qwikster name. All Blu-ray and DVD rentals will now go under the new banner while Netflix is reserved solely for Internet streaming. While the service will give users two account locations, it should also provide a route for significant improvements now that disc rentals have a dedicated team, Hastings said.