Netflix is automatically cancelling 'inactive' accounts even if you're still paying for it – how to avoid being deleted

NETFLIX is going to start automatically cancelling "inactive" accounts – even if you're still paying for it.

It means forgetful users who didn't end their subscriptions won't be charged forevermore.

A forgotten Netflix subscription can quickly rack up, too.

The top plan costs £12/$16 a month, which comes to £144/$192 over the course of a year.

So from this week, Netflix will send out alerts asking users if they want to keep subscribing.

The notifications will appear over email or through the app for any paying subscribers who haven't watched in a year or more.

If you don't confirm that you want to keep subscribing, your plan will be automatically cancelled.

"At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they're not using," said Netflix's Eddy Wu.

"So 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.

"And we'll do the same for anyone who has stopped watching for more than two years."

Netflix recommended TVs

These are the TV models that Netflix official recommends for a "superior experience"…

Panasonic HX750

  • HX800
  • HX810
  • HX820
  • HX830
  • HX850
  • HX880
  • HX900
  • HX940
  • HX970 series

Samsung QLED 8K / QLED 4K / Lifestyle TVs

  • Q950TS
  • Q900TS
  • Q800T
  • Q90T
  • Q80T
  • Q70T
  • The Frame
  • The Serif

Sony BRAVIA

  • X80H(XH80)
  • XH81
  • X95H(XH95)
  • Z8H(ZH8)
  • Z9H series
  • A8H(A8) / A9S(A9) series

The good news is that signing back up is easier next time around.

If you cancel your account and then rejoin within 10 months, your account will still "remember" its own details.

That means you'll have the same favourites, profiles, viewing preferences and account details.

Netflix says that these inactive accounts represent "less than half of 1%" of its overall member base – around a few hundred thousand users.

And it says the loss has already been factored into its financial guidance, so investors don't need to panic.

"In the meantime, we hope this new approach saves people some hard-earned cash," Eddy added.

In other news, the Netflix Party app lets you watch movies in real-time with pals.

Netflix has vowed a crackdown on users who share logins with pals.

And here's a simple guide to Netflix parental controls.

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Netflix Earnings: What to Look For

Key Takeaways

  • Analysts estimate adjusted EPS of $1.65 vs. $0.76 in Q1 2020.
  • Total paid subscribers expected to rise YOY.
  • COVID-19 may boost sales, profits as home entertainment viewership soars.

Shares of Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) have risen more than 22% in 2020, a stark contrast to the broader market, where gains have been eviscerated by the global economic shutdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. The key driver of that bullishness may be that homebound consumers have sharply boosted their viewing of movies and TV shows on Netflix, as well as at rivals Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) Disney+ and Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) Apple TV+. The coronavirus pandemic forced sharply increasing numbers of Americans to shelter at home as the latest quarter progressed. Netflix investors will be looking for details on how much this trend is boosting Netflix when the company reports earnings for Q1 2020 on April 21, 2020 after the market.

A key metric that investors are likely to focus on is growth in total paid subscribers at Netflix for Q1. Netflix needs to grow its subscriber base to boost its earnings on a sustained basis. For Q1 2020, analysts expect robust growth in earnings and revenue as paid subscriptions rise. That could boost the shares even more if the company beats estimates. Although Netflix has significantly outperformed this year, it has slightly outperformed the broader market overall in the trailing 12-month period through Friday's market close.

Netflix shares had a bumpy ride in 2019. They fell dramatically after the company reported a 29.7% decline in adjusted earnings per share and as U.S. users fell for the first time in nearly 10 years.  Despite that, Netflix shares rose throughout the remainder of the year partly due to strong growth in both revenue and international subscribers. The company has reported steady year-over-year quarterly growth in revenue every quarter for more than three years, with revenue doubling from Q2 2017 to Q4 2019. Analysts expect this trend to continue into Q1 2020. Consensus estimates are for revenue of $5.7 billion, a YOY increase of 27.0%.

By contrast, EPS has been more volatile in recent quarters. Adjusted EPS has been marked by huge YOY quarterly gains, including by more than 572% in Q1 2017. However, both Q4 2018 and Q2 2019 saw sharp YOY declines in quarterly adjusted EPS. Analysts have a very different forecast for Q1 2020, estimating that adjusted EPS will climb by 116.9% YOY to $1.65 when Netflix releases its next report.

Netflix Key Metrics
  Estimate for Q1 2020 (FY) Actual for Q1 2019 (FY) Actual for Q1 2018 (FY)
Earnings Per Share ($) 1.65 0.76 0.64
Revenue ($B) $5.7 $4.5 $3.7
Total Paid Subscribers (M) $173.1 148.9 118.9

The metric that is perhaps most valuable to investors is Netflix's total paid subscriptions, a key driver of performance. Paid subscriptions are crucial for Netflix to increase profits because its ability to raise prices has been limited by the entrance of new streaming rivals such as Disney and Apple. The number of quarterly domestic total paid subscribers has remained essentially flat for each quarter in 2019, climbing from 60,229 in Q1 2019 to 61,043 in Q4 2019, with Q2 2019 actually showing a loss of domestic paid subscribers compared to the previous quarter.

However, the company's overall total paid subscribers have increased, owing primarily to growth in international streaming memberships. From Q4 2017 to Q4 2019, for example, Netflix's paid international subscribers nearly doubled to more than 106,000. In January, before the full force of the pandemic became apparent, Netflix warned of slowing paid subscriber growth in Q1.  Now, three months later, the seismic rise in home viewing could dramatically change Netflix's numbers, fueling its growth.

Article Sources

  1. Netflix, Inc. "Netflix to Announce First-Quarter 2020 Financial Results," Accessed April 12, 2020.

  2. Visible Alpha

  3. Wall Street Journal. "Netflix Reports First Drop in U.S. Users in Nearly a Decade," Accessed April 13, 2020.

  4. Netflix Investor Relations. "Fourth Quarter Earnings Letter to Shareholders," Page 1. Accessed April 12, 2020.

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ESPN Moves Air Date Of Michael Jordan Docu-Series ‘The Last Dance’ To April From June

In a sports starved world, ESPN and Netflix have moved up the premiere date of highly-anticipated Michael Jordon documentary series The Last Dance to April 19 from June 2.

The 10-part series on Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ quest for a sixth NBA Championship in 1998 – produced by Mandalay Sports Media, in association with NBA Entertainment and Jump 23 – wil air on ESPN in the U.S. on Sunday nights over five weeks from April 19 through May 17. It will be available outside of the U.S. on Netflix.

The series, directed by Jason Hehir (The Fab Five, The ’85 Bears, Andre the Giant), chronicles Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls and features never-before-seen footage from the 1997-98 season as the team pursued its sixth NBA championship in eight years.

“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience. We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that,” ESPN said in a statement. “This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”

In the fall of 1997, Michael Jordan, Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and head coach Phil Jackson agreed to let an NBA Entertainment film crew follow the team all season long. The result would be a remarkable portrait of an iconic player and a celebrated team – a portrait only now being revealed, more than two decades later, in The Last Dance.

As the series weaves its way through the tumultuous 1997-98 season, viewers see Jordan’s childhood roots, the Bulls’ dire circumstances before his arrival and how the team was built after drafting him in 1984, to the struggles that eventually led to the team’s first NBA championship. The series takes the audience through the Bulls’ first five championships and the culture-shifting phenomenon created by Jordan and the Bulls.

There are extensive profiles of Jordan’s key teammates including Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr, head coach Phil Jackson, and dozens of current-day interviews.

“Michael Jordan and the ‘90s Bulls weren’t just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon,” said director Jason Hehir. “Making ‘The Last Dance’ was an incredible opportunity to explore the extraordinary impact of one man and one team. For nearly three years, we searched far and wide to present the definitive story of an era-defining dynasty and to present these sports heroes as humans. I hope viewers enjoy watching our series as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to make it.”

Immediately following each episode’s linear ESPN premiere, it will be available to authenticated subscribers on the ESPN App via mobile and connected TV devices, ESPN.com and ESPN on Demand via cable, satellite and DMVPD distributors.

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