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Netflix deserters return, new video player launched

David Wells, CFO of online video service Netflix, has indicated that the company is seeing an encouraging number of ex-customers return to the service, following the mass exodus sparked last year by a hugely unpopular price hike.

A report from online news source CNET (here) quotes Mr. Wells as saying that the company is currently enjoying a wave of repeat customers, with around a third of the service’s subscriber additions being returning customers.

The Chief Financial Officer is also quoted as saying that although the consequences of the deeply-unpopular price hike and aborted rebrand will take years to recover from, the Netflix team is feeling increasingly positive about the brand’s recovery.

The company announced last July that it planned to separate its DVD-by-mail and movie streaming businesses into two, with the former to be called Qwikster.

At the same time, users who subscribed to the combined unlimited service saw prices hiked from US$ 9.99 per month to US$ 16 per month for the two separate plans. This sparked an angry reaction from customers, and cancellations on a mass scale.

Netflix also unveiled a new Web video player for PC and Mac users this year, which has a refreshed look and some new functionality, and which was presented earlier this week on the Netflix blog (here) by Michael Spiegelman, director of product innovation for the Website and Tablet.

These new features include: scaling of the size of the controls, making it easier to use the player on large screens; scaling down of the player to smaller windows, which is useful if you want to watch something while working in another window; full screen mode now offering all the features of browser mode; and the ‘Back to Browse’ option, which has been moved to the top of the screen.

New Web player:

New Netflix Web player

New Netflix Web player

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