Entitled Millennials Demand Netflix Let You Binge Watch for Free Because of COVID-19

April 23, 2020 5:24 PM UTC
An online petition is asking Netflix to offer free services to Americans because of the COVID-19 lockdown. Do they think Netflix is that stupid?
  • People forced to stay in lockdown are desperately trying not to get bored.
  • A petition is asking Netflix and other streaming services to stop charging fees for two months.
  • Netflix is there to make a profit, and its service is already very cheap.

A petition asking to make Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other streaming media services free is gaining traction on change.org, with over 60,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Streaming Services Should Be Free To Encourage People To Stay Home

The person who started the petition, Philip Kolas, argues that streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO should stop charging membership fees and per-movie rental fees for 60 days to encourage people to stay home during the quarantine. He says that streaming services help to alleviate boredom, but that many people can’t afford the membership fees:

If people can watch as much as they want, whenever they want, this will help alleviate the stress of home isolation, as well as encourage people to stay home. This is a responsible community health strategy… I call upon every one of these companies that can help make an involuntary homestay more comfortable and therefore more successful to do their part to lift our sorrows and stresses of the quarantine.

Membership fees haven’t prevented Netflix from seeing a massive increase in demand for its services since the lockdown began. People have nothing better to do than watch series and movies. The company added nearly 16 million new users worldwide in the first three months of the year–almost double the registrations from the fourth quarter.

Netflix’s shares have soared recently, making the company now worth more than Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Netflix’s stock has skyrocketed recently. | Source: Yahoo Finance

Why would Netflix stop charging fees if it’s able to attract millions of subscribers with its current prices? Netflix, like other streaming services, is not a charity–it’s a business. They aren’t responsible for people’s mental health and are not an essential service.

Netflix Is Already Very Cheap

Netflix is very cheap–it costs only $8.99 per month for the basic plan. And you can watch Netflix all day if you want, it won’t cost you more. Millennials are buying iPhones for hundreds and even thousands of dollars, so they can probably find $8.99 somewhere. Young Americans are too spoiled; they should be thankful for what they have.

It’s not because we are in lockdown that everything has to be free. Businesses must continue to run. We don’t ask grocery stores to give us food, so why would we ask streaming services to let us binge-watch series for free? That makes no sense.

If Netflix offers two months free, users will only save a few dollars–but Netflix will lose millions. Netflix and other companies have to generate revenue to be able to stay open and continue paying their employees.

None of the streaming services targeted by the petition have answered so far. It’s unlikely that Netflix will give 60 days of free service because of a request. If it does, then whenever we want something free, we could just start a petition.

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Sam Bourgi edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:05 AM UTC

@SBChateauneuf

Stephanie has been writing about stocks and financial markets for several years. Based in Canada, she has written for The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha. She received an MBA in finance and worked for National Bank of Canada. Check out more of her experience on LinkedIn + and follow her on Twitter. Reach her at stephanie.chateauneuf (at) gmail.com or visit her profile on Muck Rack here. Stephanie is a Trusted Journalist.