By Harry McCracken | Monday, October 10, 2011 at 9:06 am
I have a confession to make. Ever since Netflix announced its plans to spin off its discs-by-mail business into a self-contained business called Qwikster, I’ve been assuming it would reverse the decision, and have frequently checked Qwikster.com for signs it had done so. I last did it early this morning.
And now it has. In a blog post, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that Netflix will stay, well, Netflix. I never stopped assuming this would be the eventual outcome, especially when the initial announcement was followed by radio silence. There was just too much that was too wrong with the idea–the fact that Netflix was eliminating one of its principal attractions as a service, the fact it did so with a video that almost seemed to brag about it, the name, the fact it didn’t have the Twitter handle. It was all the irrational result of some sort of bizarre midlife crisis, and the oddest part of all is that the idea got announced before the company came to its senses.
The controversial price hikes, however, remain in place.
Netflix is a fine company with a fine service, and–until recently–the way it’s navigated its transition from a snail-mail powered enterprise to a digital one has been really admirable. With any luck, it’ll get back to business so quickly we’ll forget this brief period of weirdness ever happened.