Netflix Makes Big Change to Ratings System

Stars are out, thumbs are in
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2017 3:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – After years and more than 10 billion ratings under its one- to five-star system, Netflix is ditching that model in favor of one where you just give a movie a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. The company says it settled on the new system after testing it with hundreds of thousands of users last year and discovering that they were 200% more likely to rate a movie when the choice was just up or down, Variety reports. Netflix also says that under the old system, people tended to give serious documentaries five stars and frivolous comedies one star—even though they watched far more of the latter.

Netflix also plans to introduce a percentage match score to show users how much the system has calculated a movie will match their taste. "For example, if you see a title has a 90% match, that means that based on your viewing habits and patterns, we think you are highly likely to enjoy that title," a spokesman tells Entertainment Weekly. The company says the changes will be rolled out to all users in the months to come—and while the star ratings will disappear from view, the feedback will still be used to help personalize users' movie selections. (Netflix plans to finish Orson Welles' final film.)

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