Man, the hits just don't stop coming with this story, do they?
Well, they desperately needed to reverse that Qwikster nonsense, so at least that's out of the way.
When are these companies going to learn that it is a myth that the general public embraces change?
Why would anyone believe that in the first place? Human nature tends towards inertia. The more important principle is, once a company establishes a status quo, they cannot change it in a direction that customers will perceive is undermining their interests without expecting to cause a shitstorm.
This is true even if the new status quo is still good for customers
. They won't think "it's still good, I'm happy." They'll think "it's not as good as before, ATTICA! ATTICA!!!" This principle is well known and is even taught in business schools. It's not some new esoteric thing, it's Marketing 101.
If for some reason, they are forced to violate that principle, they need to plan for a huge PR shitstorm and figure out a battle plan for countering that shitstorm, taking every possible contingency into account. The way not to do it is running around in a panic and coming up with bullshit like that Qwikster scheme.
Better yet, don't establish a status quo that you can't maintain. The studios clamping down on streaming, which is at the heart of Netflix's problems, was predictable, because unlike DVDs, streaming is the future and it threatens the studios' business model. Netflix's management team should have understood that. If another company threatened their business model, how would they react?
Sure, I might think "it's still good, I'm happy," but I've been through Marketing 101, and I know that my unhappiness is irrational and therefore can ignore it. Netflix can't expect that mentality from the general public.