Illustration for article titled Netflix Tells Subscribers to Use It or Lose It
Image: Netflix

Netflix is planning to purge its service of subscribers whose accounts are no longer actively being used—but you may have a chance to save your precious streaming data if you resubscribe before it’s wiped.

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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.

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“We’ve always thought it should be easy to sign up and to cancel,” Eddy Wu, the company’s director of product innovation, said in a statement. “So, 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.”

To be clear, the number of people who aren’t watching Netflix is small. According to Netflix, the number of inactive users on its platform represent less than half of one percent of its total number of subscribers, or “a few hundred thousand.” To put that into perspective, Netflix reported in April it had nearly 183 million total subscriptions, a number that includes the roughly 16 million new subscriptions it’s added in recent months during the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it’s already factored the soon-to-be deleted accounts into its financial guidance.

In other words, this is merely a drop in the bucket for the king of streaming. And you probably should have killed that unused subscription anyway.

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