Parallel universes In which Netflix becoming Qwikster makes sense

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Doing Two Things Is Confusing
The year is 2000, Amazon, the burgoning internet book seller, splits off their new music department into a website called Nile.com. By 2011 every river has a .com address and is a commerce portal operated by Amazon.com. Over the next 10 years the internet is entirely dominated by single-serving sites. Subdomains don’t exist and more than 8 characters after the .com is considered obscene. As Netflix’s streaming catalog threatens to overshadow its classic DVD by mail program a bewildered public and confused stock market force Netflix to spin off its flagship productline into a new company for clarity’s sake.

Netflix is Run By Sadists
Fuck you for using our service. No seriously, fuck you. Oh you were just about to finish that streaming movie? NOPE. Expired. Fuck off. Oh, you want another DVD? NOPE. Slow your roll, asshole. Oh hey, do you want to connect with friends and privately share ratings and recommendations? NOPE. Maybe try Facebook instead? OH NO WAIT FUCK THAT SHIT. And hey, our way of saying thanks for those years of thoughtful reviews you wrote: STRIPPING ATTRIBUTION. No one wants to know your name, bitch. Hey at least our website is easy to use. Do a search and if it’s streaming watch it now, if it’s on DVD add it to your queue. HAHA FUCK YOU SEARCH TWICE.

Netflix is Run By Masochists
What do you mean you like my variety? I hate that about myself. The future isn’t in discs and my present streaming selection sucks. My core business model is a joke. Spank me on the stock market, abuse me in my comment threads. I deserve it. I don’t know why you keep giving me money anyways. I know everyone is mocking me when they call things “the Netflix of whatever”. I know they just mean the new failure. I’m going to go cut myself.

Netflix Is Having An Identity Crisis
I’m chopping off my hair, kicking out my core business, and uprooting myself to a different domain. You can call me Starchild Qwikster. Netflix is my slave name.

All of These Domains Were Already Taken
Flix.com
Redenvelope.com
Netdiscs.com
Netdisx.com
Maildiscs.com
Quickflicks.com
Quickfliks.com
Quickflix.com
Qwikflix.com
Quickdiscs.com
Quickdisc.com
Netfix.com
Netster.com
Entertainmail.com
Playitbymail.com
Discter.com
Quickster.com
Qwickster.com
Quikster.com
Quixtar.com
NotNetflixForContractualReasons.com

Netflix: White Collar Squatter
Unhappy with their business model, Netflix decided to follow Google’s. They choose an impossible to remember company name then buy every spelling permutation to show ads against.

Qwikster: Pawn in Corporate Chess
Netflix puts Qwikster up for sale. Amazon buys Qwikster. Netflix buys Hulu. Apple files anti-duopoly lawsuit. Amazon merges with Netflix, hostilely takes over Apple. Government breaks up iFlixzon. Qwikster only viable model after internet razing war.

An Offer Netflix Can’t Refuse
In exchange for rights to stream high quality movies, the studios extracted extraordinary measures from Netflix.

  1. Reed Hastings’s must visit each of the studio heads personally and sing “I am a little teapot.”
  2. The studios kidnapped Reed Hastings’s daughter and if he didn’t comply they’d sign her to a three picture deal with Eddie Murphy.
  3. In a fit of Scrabble-induced pique, the studios demanded that Netflix must spin off its DVD by mail service into a new website that uses a Q, W, and K, but only two vowels.
  4. The new site cannot use any of Netflix’s APIs and must be coded by out-of-work humanities PhDs given an HTML For Dummies book.
  5. Netflix is not allowed to blame or even mention the studios as its rationale for these changes.

Sarah Pavis is an engineer, writer, and Netflix obsessive. She writes “In the Queue” for The Idler.

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  1. [...] friend and minecraft comrade, Sarah Pavis, over at The Idler: Doing Two Things Is Confusing The year is 2000, Amazon, the burgoning internet book seller, splits [...]

  2. [...] last few posts for The Idler’s “In The Queue” column were enjoyable to write but a bit heady. [...]



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