Walter Mencken 9 a.m., May 23
Netflix Spinoff Qwikster Pays $20 Million for Naming Rights to New Central Library
DVD Delivery Arm of Popular Movie Service Seeks Needed Public Relations Boost; San Diego Library System Seeks Needed Cash Money
"'Qwikster Central' - well, it sounds better than just 'Qwikster,' I guess."
GAZING WITH CAUTIOUS HOPE AT THE NAKED REBAR RISING FROM THE CONCRETE PILLARS, DOWNTOWN LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION SITE - First came Netflix's poorly handled rate hike, which sent subscribers fleeing in droves. Then came its decision to split its streaming and home-DVD-delivery services, with the latter receiving the faintly ridiculous moniker of Qwikster.
"Clearly, we needed to do something right, and fast," says Qwikster CEO Andy Rendich. "We started looking around for a goodwill gesture, something that was both in keeping with our company's core mission of bringing an unrivaled selection of DVDs to the consumer and supported a high-profile, completely uncontroversial project. When we heard the naming rights for the new San Diego central library were up for sale, it was a no-brainer. With over 100,000 titles, we see ourselves as the central library of the film world. And just as physical books are rapidly becoming obsolete, so also is the DVD fading from cultural relevance. Like libraries, Qwikster will soon serve as a kind of museum, a place kept alive by nostalgia and niche interests. It just made sense."
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