Netflix Is Deactivating Accounts That Haven’t Been Accessed In a Year So Credit Cards Aren’t Charged Unfairly

Netflix subscribers

Photo Credit: Thibault Penin

Netflix has announced that it will begin alerting inactive subscribers and, unless these individuals indicate that they’d like to continue paying for the service, automatically canceling their subscriptions.

Today’s leading premium video-streaming platform revealed the surprising move in an update issued over the weekend.

Via emails and in-app notices, Netflix is asking “everyone who has not watched anything on Netflix for a year since they joined” if they’d like to keep their subscriptions going. The company will then pause the subscriptions of those who don’t reply. (These individuals can regain access at any time, and Netflix stores accounts’ viewing-preference information for ten months following their cancellation.)

Additionally, the Los Gatos, California-based business will alert longtime subscribers who haven’t used Netflix in two or more years; their accounts will also be paused unless they state that they’d like to remain subscribed.

At its close, Netflix’s announcement emphasized that inactive users comprise a very small portion (less than one half of one percent) of the total subscribership, which encompasses more than 180 million accounts.Moving forward, it will be worth following today’s leading music streaming platforms – including Spotify and Apple Music – to see if they too cease charging inactive users.

Despite the fiscal and operational strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis – or more likely, because of it – Netflix revealed in its Q1 2020 earnings report that it added 15.8 million subscribers through this year’s first three months, more than double the projected 7.2 million new subscribers.

And about one month ago, we were first to report that Netflix had raised a cool $1 billion for content-development and acquisition purposes.

At the time of this writing, Netflix’s stock, traded under the symbol NFLX, was worth $429.32 per share – substantially more than its pre-coronavirus value.