Netflix eliminated the 5-star rating system because most subscribers didn't understand it



Netflix has announced today that it is no longer using its 5-star rating system that was supposed to show viewers how much they would enjoy watching a particular movie or television shows. The stars are being replaced by a percentage that is supposed to show the same thing. Netflix was forced to make this change because the 5-star system was misunderstood by most Netflix subscribers. It was never intended to be a rating that all potential viewers would use to determine whether or not to watch certain content.

To put it another way, the star ratings on Netflix were not designed to show you how popular a movie or show was to the Netflix audience. It was actually a prediction of how much you would enjoy content based on programs you've previously viewed on the site. For example, House of Cards might have a one-star rating when you looked it up, but for someone obsessed with politics, the show might have had 5-stars on its Netflix listing.

To make the concept easier to understand, Netflix is now using a thumbs up/thumbs down system. If you like a particular title that has been suggested to you and want to see similar suggestions, click on the thumbs up. A thumbs down means that you are not interested in this particular title and do not want Netflix to recommend to you any similar content ever again. Netflix is also adding a new personalized % Match score to each title. Based on algorithms that measure your viewing history on the app, the % Match score is a prediction that attempts to guess whether or not you will enjoy a movie or television show on Netflix. The higher the % Match score, the more you are apt to enjoy a particular title.

To show you how ingrained people's responses are to certain stimuli, consider that when Netflix tested the thumb up/down system, ratings activity soared by 200% Having said that, Netflix simply wants you to know that the more information you give the company about your individual tastes and likes, the more precise it can be when it comes to recommending video content for you to enjoy.

source: Netflix

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8 Comments

1. 87186

Posts: 312; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

"...because most subscribers didn't understand it" sounds about right given today's climate. scale of 1-5. not hard.

8. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

There's actually something that is not being reported here because they want to keep the narrative going and not to hurt some influential people on their platform. That's the real reason they got rid of the stars with thumb voting as there were too many one star votes for trash being passed off as legit entertainment. Some say it started immediately after Amy Schumer's recent standup routine aired on netflix.

2. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

What are they actually doing is sensoring any valid critic that would viewer write and then rate accordingly. Given there are some trash TV shows , films and agenda going on, they simply want to stop people speaking out. I loved reading comments with my coffee. Some sad cuntz decided to take ot away.

3. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

.... Dude... This better not have deleted my ratings... My stuff is FINE tuned. Even if it looks like something I'll hate, if it's recommended with 5 stars by Netflix, I really enjoyed it. I've watched countless movies I would not have normally watched due to their rating system.

4. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

What makes you think people can figure out thumbs up if the 5 star is blowing brains?

9. HomerS

Posts: 419; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Controls and navigation are so outdated on Netflix, like as if was never intended for touch screens. You can't fast forward or backwards with ease or precission, only 30 seconds back or with a very unprecise slider, wtf? You also cant remove a show from your "continue to watch" list with ease.but have to take 3-4 steps to do so and even that takes some time till it gets done. This works much better on Amazon Prime. Very very lacking in that regard. Netflix should fix this before they do some other silly stuff.

10. JeffT

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 06, 2017

I like the 1-5 scale immensely. I sometimes watch some shows that may be "2's" - but I watch with a lower expectation. I realize also that my preferences may not match everybody else's. I'm afraid that with the simpler Up/Down vote system, there will be some high quality content that will be overlooked simply because its doesn't meet the popularity ranking of the masses. This is exacerbated if the Up/Down vote is based on a very low number of viewers. However, if the Up/Down indicator was based on matching *my* own prior Up/Down votes and NOT the general viewing populace, then they may have something useful.

11. Taquidi

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 05, 2016

I can only imagine how much money is Netflix pushing into PA and other tech sites so they publish that information sounding like editorial content instead of the press release it actually is. Following the money to reach the truth in this case is child's play. A press release like that is just Netflix applying the reality distortion field in an attempt for people to accept this fail rating system change.

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