Netflix Set to Simplify 5-Star Ratings to Thumbs Up/Down

According to The Verge, Netflix will soon be doing away with the 5-star rating we’ve known for years – and replacing it with a simple thumbs up/down system. The reason, they say, is to get more people rating films and TV shows. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ requires less thought than thinking of a rating out of five – beta tests over the last year have shown a 200% increase in ratings when using the new method. The new system will roll out worldwide throughout April.

Netflix have long prided themselves on their recommendation algorithms but these do work best when users rate what they watch. More ratings results in better recommendations – simple!

As well as the new rating system, Netflix are also going to start using “percentage matching” to give users an idea of how much a show or movie matches their tastes. ¬†Although to me, this is something they already do with the ‘red stars’ which show what they think you will rate it before you actually add your own, yellow star, rating.

What do you think to the new system? Do you rate films and shows after you watch them and will you be more likely to rate them with a simpler thumbs up/down system?

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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18 thoughts on “Netflix Set to Simplify 5-Star Ratings to Thumbs Up/Down

  1. I started rating after I discovered that the stars were Netflix’s estimate of what score I would give, rather than aggregated user ratings, expecting it would increase their predictive accuracy – it didn’t. The five stars are too broad anyway – the three star rating (I Liked It) pretty much refers to about half of the content available, and the two stars either side are hyperbolic nonsense. That said, the thumbs up or down idea sounds far too simplistic. I’ll probably just keep subscribing to your updates and watch what looks interesting.

    1. I think that suggestion would make sense. Although I’m not sure if we, as subscribers, will see the thumbs up/down unless we ourselves have rated them. I would suspect it will be more for showing recommendations and the ‘percentage match’ for us based on similar people.

  2. Far too simplistic. Shows that have (say) a 51%/49% split (ooh topical!) are going to get an up or down with no indication that the split is roughly even. Maybe they should do something similar to Steam (for games) where you vote up or down, but the result is shown as a voting trend (e.g. mixed, mostly positive, overwhelmingly negative etc).
    Also if something is “meh okay-ish” it was easy to vote 3 stars, and up or down doesn’t cover it.

  3. My initial thought is that its a bit too simplistic. It doesn’t help you gauge if a title is regarded by others as very good or awful, just good or bad. I’m fine with rating based on a 5 star scale, as I review films on another site so I’m used to the 5 star rating system. I’m not very keen on a basic thumbs up or down option but oh well…we’ll see.

    I do often rate what I watch on Netflix, for the record.

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