Hastings, Netflix Seek Web Redemption With Jaded Former Customers

LOS GATOS, CALIFORNIA—After a tireless effort to restore the image of the company, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced yesterday that the mail-order/online streaming video service will update its ratings system to include a sixth star to accommodate subscribers who have felt indifference about some of the movies and television shows offered.

The new star, which joins “Hated It,” “Didn’t Like It,” “Liked It,” “Really Liked It,” and “Loved It,” will be called “Meh,” and allows subscribers to provide more accurate feedback, which is then used to recommend more titles to watch.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may already have his next idea: the 20-at-a-time plan.

During his announcement, Hastings admitted that Netflix continues to feel the effects of its foolish proposal to separate its streaming and disc services last September.  The immediate subscriber backlash against Qwikster led to its pre-launch cancellation, but by then Hastings and co. had lost hundreds of customers.

“We are committed to closing the loop with subscribers by eliminating the possibility of our feedback-based recommendations ever missing the mark,” Hastings stated via Skype. “Our goal is to honor and respect our subscribers’ responses to titles, and to understand that sometimes they neither like nor dislike certain movies and television shows, that indifference is just as informative as ardor or utter displeasure.”

When reporters asked (remotely, of course) about any other changes the service would undergo to restore his company’s image, Hastings confidently responded in the negative, elaborating that, “Even though Blockbuster’s mail-order service is gaining ground, and those supermarket Redbox things are doing well, we believe that our service remains exceptional…so much so that we are offering all subscribers not 5, but 10 opportunities to give the gift of Netflix to friends and family for a one-month trial! Tell everyone!! PLEASE!!!”

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