Netflix Changes Rating System Because '5 Star Felt Very Yesterday'


Netflix said recently that it is ditching the five-star rating system with the new thumbs system and has tested it with "hundreds of thousands" of subscribers in 2016 - with great success. With the old system, Netflix found that users would rate content they watched less often more highly. Shows that have less than a 50 percent match won't display a match-rating, however. "This is about making your Netflix experience within your world better".

Netflix vice president of content Todd Yellin told The Verge finding ways to more effectively match users with content played a big role in the change. Thumbs, most importantly, are more useful than Netflix's existing star ratings. At the same time, reducing the rating options to a simple yes or no system takes away the nuance of user reviews. "We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important", Yellin said. In the future, the streaming site might not recommend a similar title you actually might have watched and enjoyed.

The addition of a thumbs up/thumbs down feature, while effectively replacing the 5-star rating system, would fundamentally change a person's daily interactions with Netflix. Instead, people will now be able to just give whatever movie or TV show they just finished watching a thumbs-up of approval or thumbs-down of disapproval.

However, that's highly unlikely - if not impossible - because Netflix has been eyeing a ratings change-up for more than a year, and because Schumer's The Leather Special was only released on March 6.

If, as a Netflix user, you're more inclined to rate movies you've watched, the algorithms have a better chance of offering up content you're more likely to enjoy.

Netflix is further refining the content selection process using a percentage matching feature.