Netflix telegraphed its growing distaste for the DVD by quarantining them under Qwikster, only grudgingly allowing the grubby, germ-laden discs back into their building after everyone made fun of them. But CEO Reed Hastings remains determined to shake off this mortal coil and ascend to the astral plane of instant streaming soon enough: “We expect DVD subscribers to decline each quarter forever,” Hastings told the L.A. Times, following a report that saw another 2.76 million subscribers abandon the DVDs-by-mail plan during the last three months of 2011. And while some might have chalked that up to disgruntled customers refusing to pay nearly double their membership fee just for the privilege, rather than some larger commentary on the viability of physical media, Hastings sees it as an indicator that the company has no future in DVD—a reversal of his statement last summer that promised to “keep DVD as healthy as possible for as many years as possible.”
Of course, he also announced plans around that time to add video games to Netflix, because it was the summer, and the air seemed heavy with promise. But in the bleak reality of winter, Hastings has abandoned both that and any intention of spending more money marketing its DVD service. Presumably he’ll either use those funds to make its streaming library more useful, or launch a new “If It’s Not Available To Watch Instantly, You Don’t Need To See It” campaign.