Netflix is being called the Silicon Valley's biggest comeback story since Apple. Scott Budman reports.
Netflix has been on a roll lately. The good way.
After tumbling through 2/3 of its market value, the Los Gatos streaming company has put its awkward attempt to split itself behind it, and is once again the Wall Street darling it had been for many years.
But while that's good news for Netflix investors, the company is also focusing on its growing number of subscribers. Specifically, on how to make their lives easier. Says VP of Product Development Todd Yellin, "We had to make it brain-dead easy."
Step one? Help Netflix families. You know, the adults who have to wade through entire seasons worth of "Good Luck Charlie" and "A.N.T. Farm" just to get to the latest episode of "Hemlock Grove." Yes, it happens. Trust me. Netflix has a fix. It will roll out avatars for your screen (or iPad) that list specific shows and movies for each family member. It's not rocket science, but it could be a big time saver.
It's also debuting something called "Max." Max is kind of like a game show, where a voice and graphics walk you through movie choices ("So," it said, "Are you in the mood for talking animals, or tortured genius?"), in case you have a case of chooser's block.
Again, not the biggest change in the world, but kind of fun and interactive. And, after a year spent dealing with controversy, it's nice to know Netflix cares about the little guy, just trying to watch a little Werewolf transformation.
Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman