Netflix to Drop Star Ratings System in Favor of Thumbs Up/Down Ratings

Posted in Miscellaneous on 17/03/2017 by Chris Hauk


Netflix announced on Thursday that it is doing away with its star-based rating system for its content. The old review system will be replaced with a binary “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating system in the coming weeks.

Netflix to Drop Star Ratings System in Favor of Thumbs Up/Down Ratings

Image via Variety

Netflix Will Still Make Use of Previous Star Ratings

The already collected star ratings given by viewers during their time with Netflix will still be used by the streaming giant in order to personalize their Netflix profiles. However, the ability to rate a movie or TV show by awarding stars will be disappearing, says Variety.

Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin told journalists on Thursday during a press briefing at the company’s headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif., 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.

Netflix says they are also debuting a new percent-match feature that will indicate how well of a match any given movie or TV episode is for a subscriber. A show that almost perfectly matches a viewer’s taste might get a 98%, while a show that has less than a 50% match won’t even display a match rating.

Yellin said that at one point, Netflix subscribers had awarded over 10 billion 5-star ratings, with more than half of all viewers rating more than 50 titles. However, the company eventually came to the conclusion that the star ratings system had become less relevant. It seemed that while users might rate a documentary as 5 stars, while giving a silly comedy just 3 stars, but the viewer would watch many more silly movies than they did highly-rated documentaries.

“We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important,” Yellin said .


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.