Netflix Will Now Automatically Cancel Inactive Subscriptions

Netflix will now cancel inactive accounts to help customers save money, in an unprecedented move for subscription-based offerings. Starting this week, it will ask members who haven’t streamed Netflix for a year if they want to keep paying for the streaming service. If these members do not respond, Netflix will automatically cancel their subscription.

With over 183 million paid memberships across the world, this isn’t going to financially affect Netflix in the least. In its announcement on Thursday, Netflix’s director of product innovation, Eddy Wu, noted that “these inactive accounts represent less than half of one percent of our overall member base, only a few hundred thousand.”

“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,” Wu added. “And we’ll do the same for anyone who has stopped watching for more than two years.”

Inactive Netflix subscribers will get these reminders via emails or in-app notifications. After cancellation, Netflix will hold onto their account details, profiles, favourites, and viewing preferences for another 10 months, if they choose to return.

Netflix’s move is sure to earn some goodwill with existing and potential subscribers, which might help in the ongoing streaming wars. Though Netflix is the leader among subscription-based video platforms globally, that’s not the case in India. Both Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video are said to have more paid subscribers.

In India, Netflix must also deal with a string of local competitors, including the likes of Eros Now, SonyLIV, Zee5, ALTBalaji, and Voot Select.

Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.

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