Netflix, Others Should Offer Free Streaming to ‘Flatten Curve,’ Says Petition

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SAN FRANCISCO—Netflix, Amazon Prime and other popular streaming platforms are being called upon in a petition to help fight the coronavirus pandemic by offering free streaming for 60 days. 

The petition, started by Philip Kolas a few weeks ago, says that providing streaming services—he particularly mentions Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu and YouTube—for free for a two-month period will help people during stay-at-home orders as they try to flatten the curve of coronavirus. He also argues that this will help with new calls to reopen the economy, something many experts are saying is still too early to do.

As of publishing, the petition had nearly 47,000 signatures.

“While [social distancing] is a heroic and necessary challenge, it also runs the risk of boredom and isolation, which can lead to depression, among other factors,” Kolas wrote in the petition. “Many people are turning to their streaming services to alleviate their monotony. The problem is that many people cannot afford these membership fees, especially in a time like now when many people’s economic livelihood is already strained.”

Reports have indicated that streaming habits are up during the pandemic. Netflix, specifically, has seen record subscriber growth in Q1 2020