Netflix Is Ditching Stars In Favour Of A Thumbs Up Or Thumbs Down Rating System

Netflix Is Ditching Stars In Favour Of A Thumbs Up Or Thumbs Down Rating System

Choosing between two options is much easier than choosing between five. That’s why Netflix is about to ditch the five star rating system it’s had since the beginning.

You can no longer think a movie is just “OK” and slap three stars on it before forgetting whether you even watched it to begin with. Instead, you must like or dislike a movie. Why the change? Speaking with Variety, it’s just the way of the future according to Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of product innovation. Yellin lays it out like so:

Five stars feels very yesterday now, [that old system] really projects what you think you want to tell the world. But we want to move to a system where it’s really clear, when members rate, that it’s for them, and to keep on making the Netflix experience better and better.

Which is all to say, Netflix thinks we’re rating movies based on what what we think the world wants us to like. Sowe give Oscar-nominated foreign documentaries five stars even though we fell asleep halfway through, because that’s what critics tell us to do. Likewise, people tend to rate movies they’re not supposed to like, like some random Adam Sandler movie, three stars or less, even though they will watch that one a few times.

The rating system will be introduced alongside a new percentage match feature that shows how good a match a movie is based on your previous ratings. That means a close fit will show something in the 90 per cent range, while something that you probably won’t like will hover around 50 or 60 per cent.

Perhaps we cannot be trusted with five options. Or perhaps we’re so terrified of being judged for our opinions that we present fake opinions to the rating-crunching robots at Netflix because we just need the approval of someone. Whatever the reason, thumbs up and thumbs down ratings will be rolling out across Netflix in the coming months.

Netflix Replacing Star Ratings With Thumbs Ups and Thumbs Down [Variety]


  • Well this is just stupid. Some movies you don’t like or don’t like, so how do you decide. I’ve always thought the five star system was great on Netflix because about 95% of the time the rating they said I would give it is accurate within a half star.
    I certainly don’t rate according to what I think others think I should rate something, because I didn’t think anyone was seeing my ratings!

  • So no nuanced information just a binary option. What a poor decision!

    Between this and the rubbish australian selection + the fact that often when you get around to wanting to watch something it has been removed (Harry Potters anyone) + the Netflix Originals replacing actual good movies I am thinking it is time to call it a day on NF.

    Iview, SBS catch up might just fill the hole and save me $120 per year.

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