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Netflix Blinks: Abandons Separate Qwikster Service

CEO Reed Hastings promises no new price hikes

Less than a month after renaming its physical DVD service Qwikster and separating it from the core Netflix brand, Netflix has reversed course, announcing that both the streaming and DVD services will operate from the Netflix website.

"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," CEO Reed Hastings said Monday in a blog post and email to customers.

This does not reverse its controversial new pricing plan, which increased fees for subscribers who wanted to both stream and order DVDs. It just brings the service back to where it was before the short-lived Qwikster expierment.

Hastings also noted in the post that the company — which in September lost its deal with Starz — has recently added movies from Paramount, Sony, Universal, Fox, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, MGM and Miramax.

Also read: Netflix's Qwikster Announcement Leaves Subscribers Angry and Analysts Cold

"Plus, in the last couple of weeks alone, we’ve added over 3,500 TV episodes from ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, USA, E!, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Discovery Channel, TLC, SyFy, A&E, History, and PBS," he wrote.

Netflix's original decision to divide its two services was met with anger and confusion by consumers, especially coming on the heels of the new pricing plan that forced its customers to pay more if they wanted both the streaming and the DVD service.

The Qwikster move was interpreted as an effort to push people into the streaming-only plan due to the cost of delivering physical DVDs. However, Hastings and his spokespeople denied that at the time.

Also read Hollyblog: I'm Quitting Netflix

Then, Hastings admitted that they erred in their handling of the price change — but didn't drop the new streaming charge.

"In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success," he said. "We have done very well for a long time by steadily improving our service, without doing much CEO communication."

In his latest post, he also promised another change — no more changes. No more Qwikster, and no more price increases.

"While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes," Hastings wrote.