Netflix is reportedly canceling accounts for subscribers who haven’t watched anything over the last 12 months.
According to Variety, the company is first reaching out to subscribers to see if they want to continue the service, and will do so for those who’ve been inactive for the last year as well as the last two years. If it’s confirmed they don’t want to continue, the account will be automatically canceled, though settings will apparently be saved for 10 months in case they change their mind.
So who’s been paying for a Netflix subscription but hasn’t watched anything in the last year or two, especially given how much time we’ve had at home recently? According to Netflix’s head of product innovation, Eddy Wu: “These inactive accounts represent less than half of one percent of our overall member base, only a few hundred thousand, and are already factored into our financial guidance.”
Wu added that the company is doing this to save subscribers “some hard earned cash” and that emails will start going out this week. It would be interesting to see what reasons people have for ignoring their Netflix account for a year or more (besides death) but the company is also probably trying to create some brand awareness, in the hopes that telling lapsed subscribers they’ll delete their accounts and save them some money might get them to start watching again.
Netflix reported it added more than 15 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, no doubt helped along by the pandemic and ensuing lockdown. However, in its letter to shareholders last month, it warned the “lockdown growth” will likely decline over the next few months.