One of the lingering stories this summer has been the controversial decision by Netflix to split the billing for its DVD rental and streaming services.
Customers have been grumbling for weeks about the move, which turned one bill into two and left them wondering about the status of the mail DVD service as the streaming platform continues to grow.
Well, it took a couple of months, but Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings has finally come forward and admitted that the company mishandled the matter.
"I messed up. I owe you an explanation. It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology," he said.
As with any CEO who acknowledges a ticking off by millions of customers, Hastings was quick to move on with the company's long-term plans.
As many might have guessed, Netflix is hoping to phase out the DVD-by-mail business, which costs significantly more to run than a simple media streaming platform.
The DVD business will be rebranded as Qwikster, and will presumably be wound down and sent out to pasture or spun off. Netflix, meanwhile, will operate as a streaming-only media platform.
The question, however, may be just how many customers Netflix can bring over to its service. The price changes drove away a number of subscribers, and recent reports suggest that the company's stock is at its lowest point in months.
Additionally, rival Blockbuster is preparing to launch its own streaming service. A mass exodus to Blockbuster would be ironic, as it was the emergence of Netflix that was largely credited for destroying Blockbuster's bricks-and-mortar retail operation.
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