Those who haven’t used their Netflix accounts in a year will see an email this week asking if they still want to subscribe, and those who don’t reply will likely find their accounts canceled, according to the streaming giant.
That’s different than simply continuing to siphon money out of users’ accounts if they don’t use them, as other subscription services might do.
“Members will start seeing these emails or in app notifications this week,” Wu wrote in the blog. “If they don’t confirm that they want to keep subscribing, we’ll automatically cancel their subscription. If anyone changes their mind later, it’s really easy to restart Netflix.”
And for those who have a change of heart after the cancellation and decide to restart their accounts, once restarted, all their previous viewing history and saved movies will still be available.
Netflix says inactive accounts represent a fraction of 1 percent of its total subscriber base of 182 million global subscribers.
“At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using,” Wu’s blog reads.
Netflix and other video streaming services have been a life raft for people trapped inside by the coronavirus pandemic. Netflix reported that it saw a boost in subscribers amid the pandemic, with 15.8 million new subscribers in the first quarter, up from the 8.2 million projected by analysts and 7 million projected by the company itself. That number is up from the 9.6 million who signed up at the same time last year.
The massive surge of new subscribers made Netflix’s net income shoot up to $709 million, or more than double the income from 2019 at the same time.
But PYMNTS research finds that 14 percent of customers might cancel one subscription in the future. That could possibly be spurred on by lockdown restrictions lifting or by people trying to be fiscally sensible during the pandemic.