Netflix is replacing its star ratings with a thumbs up/thumbs down systems

By midian182 · 13 replies
Mar 17, 2017
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  1. Netflix’s five-star rating system has been around for a while. It’s a good way of giving those movies and TV shows that are neither good nor terrible the 3-star “meh” rating. But the stars are about to be replaced by a simple thumbs up or thumbs down system.

    The Verge reports that Netflix’s vice-president of product, Todd Yellin, made the announcement at a press briefing. “Five stars feels very yesterday now,” said the executive. “We’re spending many billions of dollars on the titles we’re producing and licensing, and with these big catalogs, that just adds a challenge.”

    Netflix started beta testing the thumbs with hundreds of thousands of viewers last year. The company said more than 200 percent more ratings were recorded in the months following its introduction, influencing its decision to make the system a permanent feature for everyone.

    Having a binary choice of rating something as either good or bad probably won’t appeal to everyone, but with people seemingly more inclined to use thumb ratings over the stars, the system should result in more data and therefore more accurate recommendations for everyone.

    Additionally, Netflix is expanding its percentage match feature, which uses algorithms to determine how much you’re likely to enjoy certain content. The company says that as it found people are willing to watch shows from other regions, it will use data from viewers around the world to decide what you might like. “We’re finding these clusters of people and then we’re figuring out who is like you, who enjoys these kinds of things, and then we’re mixing and matching those,” Yellin explained.

    The new thumbs rating will be rolled out worldwide this April

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,338   +1,986

    Looks like more "dumbing down" for Netflix. They obviously are hoping that people will watch more "marginal" movies because of a thumbs up rating rather than a numeric rating. While it will possibly work in the short term, dedicated watchers will adjust and the only overall looser will be Nteflix's reputation. You know, you would think there were a few bright young people that would tell the senior management this .... or perhaps all the smart young people have already left for newer jobs .....
    Yynxs, psycros, andrewdoyle88 and 2 others like this.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Boo Hiss. Pass/Fail is a very poor means to measure anything (n). When you see a range and a grade like 4/5 that is far more informative. (y)
    Yynxs, psycros and robb213 like this.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,311   +1,404

    What people aren't getting is that this still gives an accurate rating because the pass/fail turns into a percentage. Say something got 70% of its ratings as a thumbs up while something else got 60% of its ratings as a thumbs down.

    And Netflix is saying that this is a better system after testing it against their old system. What evidence do you guys have to prove otherwise?
    Reehahs and Reachable like this.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Industrial Psychology monitoring and evaluation systems.
    Reehahs and psycros like this.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Any middle school pre-algebra student can do the math for sample/total in a pass-fail system. Using a ranking system requires one to know Weighted Average and its benefits.
    Phr3d likes this.
  7. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Booster Posts: 114   +36

    This is retarded. This is something I've always hated about Facebook. What does this really tell us about the content?
  8. Reachable

    Reachable TS Booster Posts: 143   +44

    Increasingly I'm annoyed by the star rating system, whether it's found on Amazon or wherever. There are too many complex factors to make it work well. For instance, how do you rate a product that's a great innovation with a few flaws versus a product that's ordinary and traditional but has all the bugs worked out. And five stars seems to be the default rating unless you find fault with something instead of five stars being reserved for brilliant achievements. Much more information can be had by reading reviews.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    First, we're talking about Netflix, and it's NOT about products. Then, It's not intended to replace reviews - - it's about finding a consistences of opinion.
  10. Reachable

    Reachable TS Booster Posts: 143   +44

    Yes, I realized it was about Netflix. But a movie is similarly difficult to rate (although I do think an aggregate of movie ratings is apt to be more accurate than an aggregate of product ratings) and a movie is something where the emotional reaction of the viewer is relatively more important than it is with a product buyer. Haven't you ever seen a movie that was well rated but you thought it sucked. That's more apt to happen than it would be with a product of some sort. I just personally would rather not have to rate something in order to leave a review.
  11. Reachable

    Reachable TS Booster Posts: 143   +44

    I might have been biased in my answer because I've long thought that Netflix had the smartest CEO on the planet. They've been incredibly innovative, and they really haven't made any mistakes.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    OH YEAH. Wife & I are avid movie buffs and have a collection of over 300 DVDS, and some 800 on our DVR. We've seen the 'Trending Now' stuff and usually grown at the titles. Heck, even the Oscars this year were all trash in our opinions - - but that's our 'review' and judgments. Love Ben Mankiewicz's comment on TCM:
    • ".. in the 40-60s we didn't know how to blow things up, so we were stuck telling great stories".
    Many will disagree with me & that's ok - - over the years, we've correlated a review that PANS a film that has great actors & actresses will likely "be right up our alley" aka we are obviously contrarian.
  13. Yynxs

    Yynxs TS Addict Posts: 202   +70 the article..Netflix didn't say it was better. It said it got more responses, 200% more response. I don't Netflix since they started routing through Google but a couple years ago when I did, I didn't remotely go watch 3 star rating stuff. My wife Netflix and she said, "Why would they do that? That's stupid."

    What you seem to be ignoring in the article is: "...Netflix is expanding its percentage match feature, which uses algorithms to determine how much you’re likely to enjoy certain content. ..." which means, Netflix will track your viewing even more and be pulling international stuff for you to look at because, 'well some people did look when we tried it.' Just so you know, this means your viewing habits are going to be available overseas, so the overseas producers can have an idea what will sell, especially to Netflix.

    Someone mentioned reading the reviews. Seriously? There's articles been published here on the business of review writing. Even when there were worthy newspapers with reviewers, they were ignorable. Professional reviewers get lost in the problem of having to say something to prove they looked. And amateur reviewers are, well amateur.

    The 5-star method benefits from crowd knowledge and the inability of the few to have a major effect on a rating. Thumbs up/down is worthless. Might as well toss a coin.
  14. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    We haven't been able to see user ratings on netflix for years, the current system is a suggestion to what netflix thinks you will think of the movie. Weird huh? Keep the 5 star system and let us see user ratings again....
    Yynxs likes this.

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