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Netflix Scraps Idea for Qwikster DVD-by-Mail Service

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Netflix has been doing so much backpedaling lately, it’s surprising the company hasn’t adopted a bicycle for its logo.

In the most recent reversal, Netflix announced Monday that it’s scrapping a plan to split its streaming and DVD-by-mail services into two different companies and would instead keep both under the Netflix name. The abandoned idea would’ve seen the mailed DVD service take on the name Qwikster, with a separate website and separate billing.

Saying Netflix had moved “too fast” with the spin-off concept, company spokesman Steve Swasey added, “We underestimated the appeal of the single Web site and a single service. We greatly underestimated it.”

Netflix customers are nothing if not vocal. After CEO Reed Hastings announced in July that the monthly fee for customers who get both online streaming and mailed DVDs would increase from $10 to $16, consumer reaction was swift and furious. While Netflix expected to lose some customers because of the price hike, it was reportedly surprised when more than a million people actually abandoned ship.

Mr. Hastings has certainly had a rough go of it lately. In a recent post to his Facebook page, he wrote, “In Wyoming with 10 investors at a ranch/retreat. I think I might need a food taster. I can hardly blame them.”

But in a rare bit of good news for the company, it may attain the rights to distribute new episodes of two popular but cancelled TV series — ‘Reno 911′ and cult-favorite ‘Arrested Development.’

[The New York Times]

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