NEW YORK — Netflix generates more head-scratching plot twists than a cheap B-movie. On Monday, the company said it would reverse a previously announced decision to put its DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming services on separate Web sites, a plan that was widely derided by Netflix subscribers.
People will be able to use both services under one account and one password, CEO Reed Hastings said Monday in a blog post.
Netflix, however, plans to stick to pricing plans introduced in June, which means subscribers are now paying separately for streaming service and mailed DVDs. That change amounted to a price increase for most subscribers.
Less than a month ago, Netflix said it would move the DVD rental business to a new Web site, to be called Qwikster. Subscribers howled at the move, saying they saw Netflix as a destination for movies in general and didn't want to manage two accounts.
"It is clear that for many of our members two Web sites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs," Hastings said in the blog post.
Netflix's decision to stay with one Web site is likely to please subscribers. But its turbulent relationship with subscribers during the past three months raises questions about the company's management, as it attempts the transition from a DVD-by-mail business to one that largely delivers movies streamed over the Internet. Netflix movies already can be streamed directly to PCs, smartphones, tablets, DVD players, game consoles and TV sets.
The Qwikster announcement was a follow-up to the July price change. Analysts saw it as a way for Netflix to distance itself from the older DVD business, which has less future potential than Internet streaming.
Netflix had 24.6 million subscribers at the end of June, but it warned last month that it expected a net 600,000 to leave by the end of September because of the price increase. That would be the worst downturn in the company's history. Netflix reports final figures Oct. 24 for the quarter that ended in September.
Netflix's shares have been savaged by the price change and the Qwikster initiative. They've lost more than half their value since July.