May 24, 2013

Netflix revives 'Arrested Development'

The first three seasons of the comedy were being watched by so many subscribers that Netflix knew another season would be well-received and would likely lure new subscribers, too.

The Associated Press

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click image to enlarge

Will Arnett, left, and Jason Bateman in a scene from "Arrested Development," whose revival will premiere Sunday on Netflix.

The Associated Press / Netflix / Michael Yarish

Netflix didn't waver on its new pricing system, even though it resulted in the loss of 800,000 customers at the time. But Hastings scrapped the Qwikster concept amid the backlash. The DVD-by-mail service, which has lost 6 million customers in the past 18 months and now has 8 million, is being allowed to slowly fade away.

While Netflix subscribers were howling, shareholders were dumping their stock. Investors feared the company wouldn't be able to attract enough subscribers to cover the steadily rising fees for licensing video rights.

Those worries have dissipated now that Netflix is growing rapidly again, something that Hastings had promised would eventually happen after apologizing for the Qwikster mistake and the way he handled the price increase.

After hitting a high of nearly $305 in July 2011 and then falling to below $53 last August, Netflix's stock is trading at nearly $230.

"I don't have a sense of 'I told you so,' or something," Hastings told the AP last month. "I have a sense of satisfaction that we are doing what we do best, which is steadily improving our service."

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