Netflix Goes All Thumbs: No More Star Ratings


The sun has set on those Netflix stars. The previously announced thumbs up-thumbs down replacement rating system begins rolling out today, ditching the stars that have been with the company since the DVD era. But the change might not be as drastic as many users of the streaming site might think.

Contrary to what many Netflix customers might always have thought, the number of stars next to a Netflix title was not a reflection of the title’s popularity or likability, nor was it an average of viewer ratings. Rather, a higher number merely indicated that you, the specific possible viewer, might enjoy the film based on your past choices and activity.

“So you might have seen one star for House of Cards,’ reads an instructional video about the change-over, “but your politics-obsessed cousin could see five.”

(Watch the video above).

The new system prompts viewers to give a title either thumbs up or down, and then that information feeds into new match scores intended to predict how likely it is that you’ll like a new particular title. The higher the percentage score next to a title – say, 95% – indicates how likely you’ll like the title, in Netflix’s calculations.



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