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Netflix to abandon five-star system for "thumbs up"/percent system

7 days ago

After spending a large amount of time sending out customer surveys, analyzing viewer habits and conducting many, MANY experiments with lab rats critiquing various cheeses, Netflix has announced it will be getting rid of its five-star rating system. But don’t worry, indecisive viewers, they’re replacing it with something much, much…something else.

It was announced at a press event by Netflix VP of Product Todd Yellin that after careful consideration Netflix will be removing the five-star reviewing system on its service, and replacing it with a simpler “thumbs up, thumbs down” style of reviewing. The style of reviewing was made famous in the 70s by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and was made famous among tweens via Facebook.

Yellin noted how the decision was made after the rating feature was tested on hundreds of thousands of users over the course of 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,” he said.

On top of the new system, Netflix will also be incorporating a new percent-match feature that will match you to movies via a simple percentage pairing. What that means is that, based off movies and shows you’ve rated, others will be suggested based on how well you may match. For instance, if you liked movies with female leads and DAREDEVIL, you may get a 95% match with JESSICA JONES, and then the two of you will go on a date and you'll discover you have nothing in common.

The change comes after Netflix execs noticed how the current rating system was becoming less and less relevant among users, while also much more inaccurate. For example, users might rate a compelling drama as a four or five, but rate SAUSAGE PARTY a one or two (it does have that low a rating, sadly), despite the fact those users were more likely to watch PARTY more often than the drama. What that means is it’s cool to bash on Adam Sandler, but we all know you’re going to watch BIG DADDY again over a Werner Herzog documentary.

The news comes on the heels of Amy Schumer saying internet trolls are responsible for the low reviewer ratings on her new comedy special. However, as noted, the new rating system went through testing for most of 2016, proving that regardless of what people think, the world does not revolve around Amy Schumer.

If we’re going to go ahead and review the reviewing system, I’d like to say on a moral level I prefer the five-star system. Though it may inaccurately reflect impulse viewing habits, it’s more detailed and thought-out. It could reflect a movie is shit, somewhat shit, good, great and amazing – whereas a thumb systems deflates it to just “good or shit”. The percentage thing reminds me of internet dating, so that’s just a bit odd, but overall I get it. People base what they watch off word-of-mouth, the thinking being who wants to waste hours of their life on something they have no idea is good or bad? That’s chaos! So this way it’s more streamlined, even if it still has potential to prove just as inaccurate as the five-star system. Don’t hide behind that one-star rating; we all know you’ve seen RIDICULOUS SIX 15 times, Craig.

Source: Variety
Tags: Netflix

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8:49PM on 03/17/2017
All i know is that amy schumers special was CRINGE INDUCING. The vilest in the most unfunny way
All i know is that amy schumers special was CRINGE INDUCING. The vilest in the most unfunny way
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5:30PM on 03/17/2017

Doesn't make sense to rectify because of Schumer

Trolls will still just vote 'Thumbs down' to bring the percentage down.
Trolls will still just vote 'Thumbs down' to bring the percentage down.
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3:28PM on 03/17/2017
I give this new rating system a thumbs down.
I give this new rating system a thumbs down.
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1:22PM on 03/17/2017
Who cares, I'm pretty capable of figuring out what I want to watch
Who cares, I'm pretty capable of figuring out what I want to watch
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12:47PM on 03/17/2017
They should at least add a thumbs to the side for this movie was okay. Netflix selection isn't that great for streaming anymore. They need to work harder on what movies they carry instead of a rating system.
They should at least add a thumbs to the side for this movie was okay. Netflix selection isn't that great for streaming anymore. They need to work harder on what movies they carry instead of a rating system.
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12:16PM on 03/17/2017
I'd rather they use a modified JoBlo system. That way let's say you just watch Sausage Party while sober, you can rate it as 'it was a bad idea'.
I'd rather they use a modified JoBlo system. That way let's say you just watch Sausage Party while sober, you can rate it as 'it was a bad idea'.
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12:08PM on 03/17/2017

Something Else Ruined by Amy Schumer

I love the 5 star system, not in the slightests because as long as I have Netflix I have a record of how much I like something. It's particularly useful for going back a discovering hidden gem's I may have forgotten about due to lack of exposure. Well we can just throw all that out the window now. In addition what the hell do I rate a movie I had seriosly mixed feelings about?
I love the 5 star system, not in the slightests because as long as I have Netflix I have a record of how much I like something. It's particularly useful for going back a discovering hidden gem's I may have forgotten about due to lack of exposure. Well we can just throw all that out the window now. In addition what the hell do I rate a movie I had seriosly mixed feelings about?
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11:45AM on 03/17/2017

Gotta be devils advocate

Number rating systems are antiquated for many things. At least the 5 scale, the 10 scale still has some value when its just one persons opinion. The problem is what is truly the difference between a 4 star and a 3 star or a 3.5 and a 4? If you see something on netflix with a cumulative score of 3.5 stars will it deter you from watching that movie? Cumulative scores are worthless if everyone is allowed to vote. The people who watch stupid shit like Trailer Park Boys are gonna give that a 5 and
Number rating systems are antiquated for many things. At least the 5 scale, the 10 scale still has some value when its just one persons opinion. The problem is what is truly the difference between a 4 star and a 3 star or a 3.5 and a 4? If you see something on netflix with a cumulative score of 3.5 stars will it deter you from watching that movie? Cumulative scores are worthless if everyone is allowed to vote. The people who watch stupid shit like Trailer Park Boys are gonna give that a 5 and something like Godfather a 3.
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11:27AM on 03/17/2017

Dumb

These same types of minds came up with the idea to get rid of the IMDB boards.
These same types of minds came up with the idea to get rid of the IMDB boards.
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8:54PM on 03/17/2017
Victor, i REALLY miss the IMDB boards. definitely.
Victor, i REALLY miss the IMDB boards. definitely.
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10:44AM on 03/17/2017
I've never rated a movie on Netflix nor do I look at how others have rated them. After reading the reviews, it was clear that it wasn't an objective enough system. That being said, changing it to something less specific (thumbs up or down) isn't a good idea.
I've never rated a movie on Netflix nor do I look at how others have rated them. After reading the reviews, it was clear that it wasn't an objective enough system. That being said, changing it to something less specific (thumbs up or down) isn't a good idea.
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10:13AM on 03/17/2017

Schumer is out to lunch.

I prefer the five star rating, it's more accurate. Schumer is just mad that a 12 years old idea of vulgar comedy isn't being received well.

Note to Schumer, we don't need 15 minutes on how your nether regions always smell while ironically greased into tight leather pants under hot stage lights. She is not helping her situation. Maybe it's on purpose for her next 'special'.

I prefer the five star rating, it's more accurate. Schumer is just mad that a 12 years old idea of vulgar comedy isn't being received well.

Note to Schumer, we don't need 15 minutes on how your nether regions always smell while ironically greased into tight leather pants under hot stage lights. She is not helping her situation. Maybe it's on purpose for her next 'special'.

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9:44AM on 03/17/2017

Wow

And here I was just thinking that I'd prefer even more granularity with my reviews, like a 10* system. So apparently a movie is either good or bad and there is no other possible opinion? Say what you want about them having tested this for months, but I can't imagine them announcing it now has nothing to do with Amy Schumer and Trevor Noah having garbage reviews after they hyped them so much.
And here I was just thinking that I'd prefer even more granularity with my reviews, like a 10* system. So apparently a movie is either good or bad and there is no other possible opinion? Say what you want about them having tested this for months, but I can't imagine them announcing it now has nothing to do with Amy Schumer and Trevor Noah having garbage reviews after they hyped them so much.
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12:15PM on 03/17/2017
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
12:15PM on 03/17/2017
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
12:15PM on 03/17/2017
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
12:15PM on 03/17/2017
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
Absolutley I would prefer a ten point rating system as well, given that it allows for more options. As for the stand-up specials NEtflix would be well advised to give specials to better comedians If they are unhappy with the ratings. I'm sure the Dave Cheppell specials that drop in a few days will be some of there highest rated stuff.
9:34AM on 03/17/2017

confused...

gotta say I'd prefer the 5-star system over this... also out of curiosity after reading this I checked the Sausage Party score and its got like a 4.5 star rating... not sure where the 2-star in the article came from?
gotta say I'd prefer the 5-star system over this... also out of curiosity after reading this I checked the Sausage Party score and its got like a 4.5 star rating... not sure where the 2-star in the article came from?
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8:33AM on 03/17/2017
For starters, maybe trolls had a little bit to do with that, but I watched Amy Schumer's special and it honestly sucked.
I find this rating strange, this isn't a Facebook post, these are shows and movies, rated among many many views by people. So if I see something rated, 3.5 stars out of 5, I may give it a chance. If I already know something has had a ton of thumbs down, I may just pass over it.
For starters, maybe trolls had a little bit to do with that, but I watched Amy Schumer's special and it honestly sucked.
I find this rating strange, this isn't a Facebook post, these are shows and movies, rated among many many views by people. So if I see something rated, 3.5 stars out of 5, I may give it a chance. If I already know something has had a ton of thumbs down, I may just pass over it.
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