Netflix will start canceling long-dormant subscriptions

If your account is collecting dust, Netflix will ask if you want to keep paying.

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Netflix viewership is way up while most of us are sheltering in place, but it turns out there are hundreds of thousands of subscribers who haven’t actually used their accounts in forever. The company doesn't want people to pay for a service they're not using -- it’d rather you make good use of your subscription. As such, it’s starting to cancel long-dormant accounts.

If you signed up at least a year ago but haven't watched anything, or you haven't streamed something on the platform in the last two years, Netflix will ask you via email or app notification if you want to keep subscribing. If you don't respond, it'll automatically cancel your plan.

Only a few hundred thousand accounts (less than 0.5 percent of total Netflix users) meet these criteria, and Netflix has already accounted for them in its financial guidance. If you decide to cancel but later change your mind, all of your preferences, profiles and so on will be on your account just as you left them -- as long as you rejoin within 10 months.

This is a slightly unusual move from Netflix, as companies that adopt a subscription model rely on regular income from their members, including those who continue to pay every month without actually using the service. Ultimately, it might help Netflix earn some goodwill without damaging its bottom line too much.