Not Streaming? Netflix Will Cancel Your Subscription for You

Subscribers who joined at least a year ago and haven’t watched anything in that time will be asked if they want to keep paying for Netflix

Has it been a while since you last fired up Netflix and chilled? If so, Netflix said Thursday it’s going to automatically cancel your subscription for you.

Subscribers who joined at least a year ago and haven’t watched anything in that time will start receiving email and app notifications asking if they want to continue their service. If they don’t respond, Netflix will stop charging them. The streaming giant will also notify subscribers who haven’t watched shows for more than two years. (Netflix costs a minimum of $8.99 per month and up to $15.99 per month in the U.S.)

Netflix said these subscribers make up less than 0.5% of all its customers.

“We’ve always thought it should be easy to sign up and to cancel. So, as always, anyone who cancels their account and then rejoins within 10 months will still have their favorites, profiles, viewing preferences and account details just as they left them,” Eddy Wu, Netflix’s director of product innovation, said in a blog post. “In the meantime, we hope this new approach saves people some hard earned cash.”

It’s certainly a bold move for a company that depends on subscriber growth. Netflix is coming off its best quarter ever in terms of total subscriber additions, with 15.8 million people signing up during the first quarter, the company reported in April. The company acknowledged in its letter to shareholders it had seen “temporarily higher viewing and increased membership growth” due to the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of people suddenly compelled to spend most of their days inside. Following its big first quarter, Netflix has nearly 183 million global subscribers.

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