If all publicity is good publicity, then Netflix’s senior executives must be feeling great about all the attention they’ve been receiving. That is, if they don’t actually read the headlines.
Barely two months after announcing a 60% increase in subscription costs for Netflix’s direct-streaming and DVD sharing service, CEO Reed Hastings apologized for the handling of the recent price increase and announced that its mainstay DVD-in-the-mail business would be rechristened “Qwikster” (already a much-maligned moniker) and spun off from the faster-growing direct-steaming business line.
The move has many market analysts shaking their heads. “I don’t think Netflix is listening to its customers at all,” said John Tschohl, author of Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service. “They have really blown it.” The stock market seems to agree – Netflix’s stock price has dropped more than 50% from its high in summer 2011, wiping out about $8 billion in shareholder value. Given the company’s recent series of marketing missteps, and the rise of direct-streaming competition from Amazon, Hulu and iTunes, Hastings may regret hitting his already-shaky customer base with more bad news.
This post was authored by Caitlin Vaughn.