Netflix announced yesterday that it will replace star-based user reviews in its content library with binary thumbs up and thumbs down ratings over the coming weeks.

Previous star ratings given by users will be used to personalize their Netflix profiles, but the ability to rate a TV series or movie by awarding stars is set to disappear altogether, according to Variety.

img 20170316 143235

Image via 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.

According to Netflix, at one point subscribers had awarded over 10 billion 5-star ratings and more than half of all members had rated more than 50 titles. However, the company eventually concluded that star ratings had become less relevant, with some users giving documentaries 5 stars and silly movies just 3 stars, even though they would watch the silly movies more often than the highly rated documentaries.

"We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important," Yellin told journalists.

In addition to the binary rating scheme, Netflix is also bringing a new percent-match feature to its interface that shows how good a match any given show or movie is for an individual subscriber. If a movie or TV show fits very closely with a user's taste, it may get a high percentage match, although shows with less than a 50 percent match won't show a match rating.

Netflix said the changes will roll out globally within the next month or so.

Tag: Netflix

Top Rated Comments

adamneer Avatar
53 months ago
Great, another avenue for displaying what's most popular, rather than what's best. That's the key reason a ****** comedy would be viewed more than an award winning documentary and yet receive less stars. It's really not that hard to figure out.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smacrumon Avatar
53 months ago
Thanks for rating Netflix, Smacrumon!


[doublepost=1489748283][/doublepost]
Makes sense. Most people don't bother to think about what star rating a piece of content really deserves anyway. I only ever check star ratings on rotten tomatoes, where you get insightful write-ups too.
Most people actually do know how to offer an opinion on a scale of 1-5, 1 being very poor, 5 being very great. People know exactly how to use star ratings. Star ratings are nuanced whether or not it is accompanied with write ups.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
53 months ago
good, i dont think anyone fully understood those star rating anyway. It took me years to realize that those star ratings are based on what you watched before / your taste and not the overall rating from the whole user base
Well, that clears up a lot of questions I've had over the years. Thank you for that.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
53 months ago
good, i dont think anyone fully understood those star rating anyway. It took me years to realize that those star ratings are based on what you watched before / your taste and not the overall rating from the whole user base
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Three141 Avatar
53 months ago
I got to use this quote.

"We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important," Yellin told journalists."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisnotmyname Avatar
53 months ago
And yet my recommended for you category continues to have many one and one and a half star movies. If you've determined it would be one star for me why are you recommending it to me?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...