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Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is raising Qwikster from the ashes. The snap decision to split its DVD rental and streaming businesses last year had to be nipped early due to public outcry, but it appears the idea behind the failed launch has been brought back.
Subscribers who only have a streaming plan are not getting DVD-only results when they search for a title. The separate DVD tab is not available to those subscribers who don’t have a specific DVD plan. Users with both streaming and DVD subscriptions won’t notice any change. The system of user recommendation and rating has also been cleaved between DVDs, streaming titles, and unreleased titles.
“If I am an Instant customer and go see The Artist in theaters and think it’s the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, I can’t go home and rate it 5 stars and begin getting recommendations for similar films that Netflix might have on Instant,” VentureBeat quotes a Reddit user. “Also, as a DVD customer I can no longer read any reviews that people may have written while having the Instant plan.”
The DVD rating functionality has also been removed from Netflix’s Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad app, targeted largely at streaming subscribers.
IHS Screen Digest Research says streaming content will top 3.4 billion views this year, beating physical DVD and Blu-ray sales for the first time ever. Disc-rental business is down 3.4 percent in 2011. Netflix is also facing competition from Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) new streaming service.
Netflix lost more than 800,000 subscribers and hurt the value of its stock price when it tried to launch Qwikster last year.
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