I have no idea who has Netflix and isn’t watching it right now, but if you happen to fall into that group or know someone who might, this seems like a thing you’re going to want to know.
In a very uncommon move by a subscription-based service, Netflix announced Thursday that it will begin canceling the accounts of users who have not watched anything on the platform for a year since they joined, as well as anyone who hasn’t used the service in two years. The company said it will begin sending these subscribers emails and in-app notifications this week giving them the chance to keep their accounts active, but if they don’t receive a response, those accounts will automatically be deactivated.
The good news is that if a user does decide that they’d rather reactivate their account, they can do so within 10 months and still have access to their profile data.
The company is framing the move as a way to help people save money. A nice thing to do I suppose, but also a weird one when the core of your business is based on getting people to pay you subscription fees. It’s an easy thing for Netflix with its 183 million subscribers to do, perhaps, but I’m still struggling to understand the point of them doing it. Unless the idea is to stop dinging people who have died which would be pretty cool actually, why not keep taking the money and pumping it into improving the service? It’s not a company’s job to make sure I pay attention to the things I sign up for. Besides, if I can get away with not paying attention to stuff like that for a year or two, I must be in a decent place financially. It’s either that or I’m a foolish fool and I deserve to fund the film and television industries through my negligence. Or maybe I’m dead. There’s always still that. But if that’s what it is, it would be nice if Netflix would just say so because without that bit of explanation this feels hollow or like there’s an ulterior motive. Big corporations don’t give up money just because. Maybe Netflix is the exception to the rule, but for now I’m sitting here waiting for another bad publicity filled shoe to drop. That, by the way, is totally sad. But it’s how the world usually works, unfortunately. Thanks, big corporations.