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Should you cancel Netflix? Reasons to stay and leave

A TV with the Netflix logo sits behind a hand holding a remote
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Canceling Netflix, much like Owen Wilson in Zoolander, is so hot right now. Netflix lost more than 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, which was huge not just because that's more subscribers than the now-dead CNN Plus could take in during its first month, but because it expects to lose many more (upwards of 2 million) next quarter.

So, now that canceling Netflix is all the rage (even my parents want to cancel Netflix) you've probably wondered if you should, too. You're no lemming, though. You make informed decisions. 

You've probably poured through our lists of the best shows on Netflix and the best Netflix movies. If you're trying to find a film for parents and kids alike, you're probably on top of our best family movies on Netflix roundup, too. But if you're still wondering about skipping after all that?

Well, since I know a thing or two about canceling Netflix, I thought I'd run through the ins and outs (for example, have you heard how good Apple TV Plus is now?). Here's everything you should consider before canceling Netflix.

Reasons to leave Netflix

Cancel Netflix because you can always come back

Someone holding a remote pointed at a TV with the Netflix logo on it

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best reason to cancel Netflix is — sorry if this stings for the Netflix subscribers who miss Friends, which left for HBO Max — to go on a break. Churning, if you've never heard of it, is the term for canceling your subscription only to come back later. 

You save between $10 and $20 today, which can be put to other entertainment (going to movies is a thing again, and they're definitely not any cheaper than they were in 2020) or something more pressing. I know because I canceled Netflix and then I came back. Why did I leave? Well, Netflix lost Halt and Catch Fire, which I was finally ready to watch, and I had to get AMC Plus to see it. 

The only reason to not cancel Netflix is if you think you're going to want it within the next month. If you can imagine a month without Netflix, though? It's never a bad time to cancel Netflix. (And, seriously, think about how much you've enjoyed it or needed it in the last four weeks.)

Cancel Netflix because there are a ton of other (cheaper) options

Computer with logo: Netflix , HBO MAX, APPLE TV PLUS, NETFLIX, PRIME VIDEO are online video streaming services

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

At $15.49 (based on current Netflix prices) per month for the Standard 1080p plan, many Netflix subscribers pay more than any other major streaming service charges. You could get the ad-supported Peacock and Paramount Plus plus Apple TV Plus (all three cost $4.99 each) for 50 cents less. 

Heck, if you cut the cord and want broadcast and cable TV shows a day later, could get ad-supported Hulu ($6.99 per month) and one of those above services and still wind up paying less than Netflix charges. Yes, Netflix doesn't have ads (yet), but this range of options?

Our recommendation? You can save 50 cents by switching to the best streaming service, HBO Max ($9.99 with ads, $14.99 without ads), no matter if you tack on another service or not. Lately, Apple TV Plus has seriously impressed us with the likes of Severance, The Afterparty and Pachinko.

StandardBasic (or ad-supported)Premium
Netflix$15.49$9.99$19.99 (4K)
Disney Plus$7.99N/AN/A
HBO Max$14.99$9.99N/A
Prime Video $14.99N/AN/A
Apple TV Plus$4.99N/AN/A
Hulu$12.99$6.99N/A
Paramount Plus$9.99$4.99N/A
Peacock$4.99 (w/ads)Free (less content)$9.99 (no ads)

Cancel Netflix because your favorite shows are ending

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in a photo from Ozark season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

Ozark season 4 ends the series at the end of May. Likewise, the Irish comedy Derry Girls season 3 completes that Channel 4/Netflix show later this year. Stranger Things season 4 hits this summer and only has one more season in the can.

Maybe you're a Bridgerton devotee. Maybe you love yourself some Geralt of Rivia and Yennefer of Vengerberg and need The Witcher season 3 now. But if those titles don't mean much to you? If your favorite Netflix shows are the older Netflix shows? It's easy to understand why you might be feeling done with Netflix.

You can always try and give Netflix's newer shows a try, but if Netflix's latest batch of shows isn't your speed? We'd leave too. Plus, Netflix keeps canceling new shows prematurely; in fact, Netflix just canceled this show with 83% Rotten Tomatoes score after just two seasons, and that's not uncommon.

Cancel Netflix because it's not enough on its own

Tony Stark and the rest of the Avengers in the foreground, with Thanos in the background, of a press photo for Avengers: Infinity War

(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Twitter)

In this age of cord-cutting, the best cable TV alternatives (such as Sling TV) sit among the best streaming services for a reason: they both offer ways to help fix the cable problem. But what if you don't want to spend $65 per month for YouTube TV? You may find yourself creating your own patchwork set of streaming services — and you probably already have. And when you look at what each of these services offers? You might find yourself frustrated by Netflix. Sure, it has a huge library, but other services pack a wider range of things to watch.

Netflix doesn't offer live events (Peacock and Paramount Plus both offer sports and local news). Netflix also doesn't have many huge IP outside of its own originals, so unless you're addicted to rewatching Seinfeld or Netflix Originals such as Cobra Kai, Stranger Things and Black Mirror, you might find more bang for your buck by rewatching the Marvel movies in order on Disney Plus

Robert Pattinson as Batman and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman in the poster for The Batman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HBO Max may not have the big box office movies on the same day as those films' theatrical release as it did in 2021, but it's still doing a good job. The Batman arrived in the 45-day window of when it hit theaters, while you'll wait much longer for Spider-Man: No Way Home to finally come to Netflix or Disney Plus (it's currently en-route to Starz — and, no, I'm not talking about the Disney Plus Star Channel).

Also, let's be honest about the Netflix Original movies. Outside of the errant prestige Oscar bait such as Roma or The Irishman, Netflix's movies aren't exactly winners. Don't Look Up was a pure hate-watch for me; Gunpowder Milkshake didn't keep me in the yard when I started watching; critics really didn't like Judd Apatow's The Bubble and for every The Mitchells vs The Machines there's another Adam Sandler vehicle that makes me cringe. The Criterion Channel, HBO Max and other services have stronger movie offerings.

Reasons to not cancel Netflix

Stay with Netflix because the big shows are back

Eleven, Mike, Will and friends stare into the distance in an official image from Stranger Things season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

The big news in Netflix-land right now may be dour for stockholders, but we're on the verge of plenty of big releases. Russian Doll season 2 just, Ozark season 4 part 2 (April 29) and The Circle season 4 (starting May 4) are up next. 

Then, one of the most-awaited returns ends the month, as Stranger Things season 4: Volume 1 arrives on May 27. Just like Ozark, Netflix is splitting Stranger Things in half this year, and we're waiting until July 1 for Volume 2. This, arguably, may annoy some Netflix subscribers, as the kings of binge-watching are playing around with releasing shows in split and weekly (for The Circle) cycles. Which is why we think they could consider the true Netflix nuclear option: reverting back to weekly releases as a standard to keep people around for longer.

Umbrella Academy cast in a junkyard

(Image credit: Netflix)

But you don't have to wait long for more big shows. The Umbrella Academy season 3 is set for June 22, and the live-action Resident Evil Netflix series starring Lance Reddick debuts less than a month later, on July 14.

August's release dates aren't announced yet, but this sure seems like a summer where some may come crawling back to Netflix.

Stay with Netflix because you're a true crime fan

John Wayne Gacy in clown makeup and out of clown makeup in the poster art for Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes

(Image credit: Netflix)

From Inventing Anna, a show about con artist Anna Sorokin/Delvey to the many documentaries about notorious criminals — from Jimmy Savile to John Wayne Gacy, the true crime category over at Netflix is one of the most popular at the moment. It seems like each week we see a new docuseries, movie or limited-run show rise to the top of Netflix's charts. 

While some audiences may not feel like Netflix is meeting their needs, it's hard to imagine a true crime fan giving up Netflix. Quite simply put, Netflix knows what its subscribers want to watch, and it's invested in cranking out as much of it as possible. 

In May 2022, Netflix will debut Clark, a series about the criminal who inspired the term "Stockholm syndrome." But the bigger release of the month right now is Our Father, a documentary about a scheme involving sperm donors, a popular fertility doctor and half-siblings. Later in the month, Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror will dig into the dark web, and The Photographer: Murder in Pinamar will investigate the murder of photojournalist José Luis Cabezas and the conspiracies that were tied to it.

Stay with Netflix because you love trashy reality TV

Too Hot to Handle cast: Bryce

(Image credit: Netflix)

Whether you live in The Circle, believe there's no show Too Hot to Handle or argue about Ultimatums and how Love Is Blind? You know that Netflix has seized on the public's love of drama-filled reality TV.  Circle season 4, by the way, starts on May 4, and has new episodes weekly.

And since Netflix tends to just drop these new shows that have no hype but create a ton of conversation quickly and at random? It's not difficult for me (someone who doesn't watch reality TV) to realize that it might feel better to just keep Netflix, because you never know when a new show like the above is going to pop out.

Bottom line: should you cancel Netflix?

This is a decision between you, your free time and your bottom line. Many folks, including fans of true crime content, reality TV dating shows, Stranger Things, and Umbrella Academy are probably keeping their Netflix accounts for now. 

But everyone who sees the lower prices on the horizon as a sign of greener pastures can definitely go to check them out. Especially if the Netflix shows nearest and dearest to you are over or ending soon. That's the beauty of the monthly subscription service. You can leave if you want to, and you can come back whenever you please.

Cancel Netflix because your favorite shows are ending

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney in a photo from Ozark season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

Ozark season 4 ends the series at the end of May. Likewise, the Irish comedy Derry Girls season 3 completes that Channel 4/Netflix show later this year. Stranger Things season 4 hits this summer and only has one more season in the can.

Maybe you're a Bridgerton devotee. Maybe you love yourself some Geralt of Rivia and Yennefer of Vengerberg and need The Witcher season 3 now. But if those titles don't mean much to you? If your favorite Netflix shows are the older Netflix shows? It's easy to understand why you might be feeling done with Netflix.

You can always try and give Netflix's newer shows a try, but if Netflix's latest batch of shows isn't your speed? We'd leave too. 

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • DigitalKid
    Just cancelled my account yesterday after being a member since it's inception.

    Got no pushback or anything about cancelling. Told the person over the phone I was cancelling due to the price, and they said "I understand." :LOL:
    Reply