Netflix CEO Hastings on Qwikster spinoff: Just kidding!

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said on Monday morning that the movie rental company's plan to spin off its DVD-by-mail rental business into a new company called Qwikster has been promptly cancelled.

"This means no change: one website, one account, one password… in other words, no Qwikster," Hastings said in the Netflix blog. "While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes."

It's a total reversal from the message Hastings sent out to Netflix subscribers three weeks ago, in which the CEO detailed how Netflix's streaming service and Qwikster's DVD-by-mail service would "not be integrated" and that members who subscribed to both would have to have two separate accounts with two separate bills.

We asked users what they planned to do if Netflix separated into two companies, and of 1,276 readers who responded, just over half (643) said they'd cancel altogether. Just 94 people, about 7.4% said they were willing to have two separate bills for DVD rentals and streaming.

Netflix competitor Blockbuster and its parent company Dish Network jumped on the opportunity, and unified all its satellite TV, DVD by Mail and streaming services under a single Dish bill.

"Unlike other companies, we offer the simplicity of one company, one bill and one connection." Joe Clayton, CEO of DISH Network said at the time.

"It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs," Hastings said today. Unfortunately, he did not mention what will happen to the video game rental services that were expected to launch with Qwikster.

We've contacted Netflix to find out.

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