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Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) revealed that it will split its two offerings -- streams and disc-based rentals -- into two separate websites. Couch potatoes who like the instant gratification of Netflix's streaming library can stay right where they are. Subscribers receiving DVDs and Blu-rays will have to mosey on over to Qwikster.com.
The bad news is largely for the half of Netflix's 24 million subscribers who are on both plans. They'll have to keep tabs on both sites. That's inconvenient, though perhaps that's just part of Netflix's master plan to get customers to choose one plan over the other.
Given the choice, Netflix would rather serve 24 million streaming customers and not worry about manning regional distribution centers and covering round-trip postage on mail-delivered optical discs.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- SINA (Nasdaq: SINA ) fell after reports indicated that China's government is considering new regulations for corporate structures that would restrict foreign ownership. I realize that China is the world's most populous nation, but a little outsider interest can't hurt.
- Carnival (NYSE: CCL ) sailed higher on Tuesday after the cruise-line operator posted better-than-expected results. Who says there isn't money to be made on the high seas?
- Shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) hit a new all-time high this week. I wonder how Steve Jobs feels about this.
- Clinical phase data for Gilead's (Nasdaq: GILD ) HIV Quad pill found the treatment to be marginally superior to existing options, but without the statistical relevance to make it a slam-dunk. Patience is always a virtue in the rigorous approval process.
- Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HPQ ) board hit the "buy it now" button on Meg Whitman, tapping the former eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY ) CEO as its new chieftain. It's just as well. Have you seen how those $99 HP Touchpads are selling on eBay?
Until next week, I remain,