Netflix is about to completely change the way users rate movies. Instead of the standard 5-star rating system, users will be adopting a simple thumbs up and thumbs down system. While the rating system in the past had been the sole way Netflix used to suggest titles to their users, that system is now obsolete, and the rating system is updating accordingly.
“We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important,” Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin said during a press briefing. One such behavior is that when users watch documentaries, they’re more willing to give those 5-star ratings instead of silly movies, which they would give only 3 stars. Inversely, users were watching silly movies at a higher rate than docs, which contradicts the star rating.
Netflix has already been testing this new methodology since 2016 with hundreds of thousands of users. The result is clear — users prefer the new thumbs up and thumbs down method significantly more, with a 200% increase in ratings than with the star rating system.
The end result of the study means that users are going to see a significantly more customized set of suggestions, with a new percent-match stat with each title. Much like a dating app, Netflix is going to tell you how compatible you are with a movie. Don’t get mad at Netflix when they say you’re a 98% match with the newest Adam Sandler movie, because that’s on you!
The new rating system will take effect for all users over the coming weeks. [Variety]