Netflix to Cancel Subscriptions of Inactive Members

Netflix will ask members before cancelling, and it says the inactive accounts are less than 0.5% of its member base.
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Netflix  (NFLX) announced it would cancel the subscriptions of members who don’t use the service to save it money.

That may be a first in the annals of the U.S. retail industry.

“You know that sinking feeling when you realize you signed up for something but haven’t used it in ages? At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using,” Eddy Wu of the company’s product innovation team wrote in a blog .

“So we’re asking everyone who has not watched anything on Netflix for a year since they joined to confirm they want to keep their membership. And we’ll do the same for anyone who has stopped watching for more than two years,” Wu added.

Those queries will go to members in an email or app notifications this week. 

“If they don’t confirm that they want to keep subscribing, we’ll automatically cancel their subscription,” Wu said.

To be sure, a slew of cancellations look unlikely. “These inactive accounts represent less than 0.5% of our overall member base, only a few hundred thousand, and are already factored into our financial guidance,” Wu wrote.

And, of course, those whose subscriptions are cancelled can re-up at any time.

“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,” Wu said.

Netflix, the giant streaming service, added a record net 15.77 million subscribers in the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic began raging, giving it 182.8 million all together.

Netflix shares recently traded at $434.23, down 3%.