Netflix is Doing Away With Star Ratings

Well it looks like a Netflix staple is about to go away. Soon you will no longer be able to give a star rating and will instead be asked to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.

During a press conference at the compan’s headquaters on Thursday Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin told journalists that the company had tested the new thumbs up and down ratings with hundred of thousands of members in 2016. “We are addicted to the methodology of A/B testing,” Yellin said. The result was that thumbs got 200% more ratings than the traditional star-rating feature.

This seems to be apart of Netflix new percent-match feature that shows how good of a match any given show or movie is for an individual subscriber. So shows with less than a 50% match will be pushed down or may not even be shown to you.

Yellin went on to say that the company completely relied on its users rating titles with stars when it began personalization some years ago. Netflix is reported to have some 10 billion 5-star ratings, and more than 50% of all members had rated more than 50 titles.

However, over time, Netflix realized that explicit star ratings were less relevant than metrics. Some users would rate documentaries with 5 stars, and silly movies with just 3 stars, but still watch silly movies more often than those high-rated documentaries.

You will likely see this on their websites first and roll out to devices like the Fire TV and Roku at a later date.

Source: Variety

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  • Reasons why I maintain my own list of ratings… and I can also use half-star increments when I feel like it. When Netflix makes a change, more often that not, it seems, that I don’t like it.

  • filmex

    This is a bad idea. Most of the 5-star items we have watched have turned out to be just that–very good.
    Now those items will no longer be any more identifiable than a piece of Netflix Adam Sandler garbage that a bare majority of people give a thumbs up to.

    • Ben M

      I agree. How someone views a movie is totally dependent on that individual’s taste in movies or tv. One person’s 5 star Adam Sandler movie is another person’s 1 star Adam Sandler movie. With a thumb up or down you now lump all 1-2 stars into a thumbs down and all 3-5 stars into a thumbs up which is worthless when actually trying to determine quality of a movie.

      • Mike Stambaugh

        Agree 100%. Maybe they need a thumb that is adjustable like a clock and you can turn it anywhere from thumbs down, thumb sideways to thumbs up. Or keep the star system.

  • Ottis

    Netflix ratings have always been awful as they are an algorithm based on what you watched and rated and guesses what you think it would be. There are many more often times than not that their guess is way off. I would prefer it showed that average user rating like IMDb does in fact that’s why I always have IMDb open and check on there before Netflix.