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On the Call: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings

April 23, 2012
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LOS GATOS, Calif.—Netflix ended March with 26.1 million U.S. subscribers to its Internet video streaming service and its DVD-by-mail rental plans. That's more than the company had last summer before announcing it was raising prices by as much as 60 percent for subscribers who wanted to keep getting DVDs along with video piped over high-speed Internet connections.

Despite the gains, Netflix Inc. CEO Reed Hastings still doesn't believe the company has fully recovered from the customer indignation about the way the price increases were handled. Hastings addressed the lingering ill will Monday in response to a question posed during Netflix's first-quarter earnings conference call.

QUESTION: Last fall you said it make take a while for the brand and the relations with consumers to build back. Do you think you have already overcome that backlash?

ANSWER: The brand recovery is part-way complete. We have said it will probably take three years, with the bulk of the recovery in the first year. That still seems to us to be the correct model.

We are feeling good about the progress we have made. We are conscious that it is tender and that we have to be extremely diligent and thoughtful in the way we act as we build back our brand reputation.

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