In the latest self-inflicted drama at the company, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings dropped this letter into the inboxes of all his customers overnight. After separating the DVD and streaming services on your bill, Hastings explains that now the DVD service is getting its own name: Qwikster. Presumably, this will make you less annoyed that you are paying more money for the same services, since they are now technically different businesses, at least in name.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn't make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

So now you'll have to use two different websites if you choose to keep streaming and the DVD service, and get bills from two different places.


Meanwhile, everyone's having fun blasting Hastings for not checking to see if the Qwikster Twitter account was taken yet. It is, and as Buzzfeed points out, it's run by "a weed-smoking Elmo." Hastings just hopes "@Qwikster asks for a reasonable amount of weed in exchange for his Twitter handle."