Will you cancel Netflix?

It's time to ask that question, following last Sunday's stunning news -- that Netflix would separate into two companies, one offering monthly streaming subscriptions and the other by-mail DVD rentals. Actually, I asked the question a few days ago, and 55 percent of you say you will "cancel account". But the number of respondents is too low to be reliable. Additionally, peoples' initial anger might subside after a few days. So I'm reposting the poll, to increase the sample and to measure response after a few days emotional cool down.

Netflix will continue but as the streamer. The core DVD-rental business that made Netflix a household name will go to new company Qwikster. If I still rented DVDs, I would drop both because the companies will bill separately for services that were once one. I started renting from Netflix in February 1999, when watching DVDs, particularly on laptops, was sheer novelty. But long ago I stopped renting DVDs, switching to streaming instead. I'll keep Netflix for that. So there is one person's answer to prime your response to our poll and also to explain your reasons for yeah or nay in comments.

So far, Betanews commenters have offered mixed reaction to Netflix/Qwikster, which is another reason to expand the poll's sample. "People are too easily inconvenienced", Renée Marrano writes. "We get DVDs. We get streaming. It's still a good deal".

Jason 'Zeus' Brown: "Lack of integration means that there's no motivation for me to keep both. Most likely I'll drop Qwikster and use Redbox for movies that aren't available on Netflix. If I could expect the proposed game aspect to compete with GameFly I might consider dropping GameFly instead, but I expect it to be over-priced and under-featured, being new to the game side of things".

"Netflix should keep the two together, separating is a big mistake", mshulman comments. "It certainly isn't something that would make me go back to either".

Mark Young sees the split as further enabling the streaming business:

This is indeed an odd move--inconvenient to customers who both stream and get discs (and Netflix still has a far larger title inventory of discs than streams), but it makes perfect sense if Netflix plans to sell off the DVD operations to raise cash to buy more streaming content; the two operations have to be decoupled to be able to sell one of them. I just don't think there will be a shutdown of the disc operations any time soon because one doesn't just suddenly cut off 14.2 million paying customers -- that's too much revenue to blindly ignore".

But there's risk, too. I have AT&T, which recently instituted data caps. What happens if the broadband carriers turn against Netflix, demanding fees for carrying competing content across their networks?

Bryan Lee will "probably keep subscribintg to DVDs via Netflix (or that silly name they'll switch it to which I won't type here). At least for now. I would have just used Netflix streaming by default too, but now that it's going to be a separate service, I might have to look into this Amazon Instant Video".

Rusty Shano:

Sticking with both for now (and I stress for now). Once our Qwikster queue is devoid of older TV series, etc., we'll have to evaluate if it's worth it. If it comes down to just new releases then Redbox will probably earn my business. I've read that video game rentals will also be available. I'm guessing it will be a miracle if that doesn't cost extra.

Streaming just isn't up to snuff with new releases. It's been convenient for immediate gratification, but 9 times out of 10, a movie we're interested in watching isn't available. I see streaming being the future, BUT, it's still the present.

PC_Tool is sarcastic: "Qwikster and Netflix should totally combine forces and become Qwikflix. Can you imagine both a DVD rental AND streaming provider? How awesome would that be?? it would be EPIC!"

Please answer the poll(s) directly and explain your reasons in comments.


Several commenters observed there should be an option in the poll for "already cancelled". Adding that now would ruin any validity to the results. So I've created a new poll, asking if you cancelled. The dates are deliberately chosen to coincide with recent Netflix events: Price increase announcement; price increase taking effect; Startz streaming contract cancellation (announced but not effective until February 2012); and split into two separate companies. Please spread the word, and take the new poll.

29 Responses to Will you cancel Netflix?

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