So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It's hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: 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.
A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated. So if you subscribe to both services, and if you need to change your credit card or email address, you would need to do it in two places. Similarly, if you rate or review a movie on Qwikster, it doesn’t show up on Netflix, and vice-versa.
It would seem the primary reason to impose this non-integration annoyance on customers is that they plan to sell off the DVD service in the very near future. Also, the decline of this business won't be associated with the Netflix brand.
From the archive, Daniel Sorid:
The death of the DVD looms over Netflix like an elderly uncle who pays the rent.
Hastings this week asked investors to bear with him for a few years as he primes the pump for a new business model.
Reed Hastings: An Explanation and Some Reflections | The Netflix Blog