Netflix announced plans to change their ratings system in the only time in many years that they have done so, moving from the more traditional star ratings to strictly thumbs up or down, said the VP product for Netflix, Todd Yellin, in his press release today.
“Five stars feels very yesterday now,” said Yellin. “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.” He also mentioned that “bubbling up the stuff people actually want to watch is super important.”
Yellin said that the changes are to occur in April of this year and rolled out immediately worldwide.
Switching to the binary system using the thumbs up/thumbs down method may seem decreasingly granular than the original offering of five stars, however Yellin stated that there is an understanding with the new system that push people to do it in order to benefit their own viewing experience instead of just rating it for others.
“What’s more powerful: you telling me you would give five stars to the documentary about unrest in the Ukraine; that you’d give three stars to the latest Adam Sandler movie; or that you’d watch the Adam Sandler movie ten times more frequently?” said Yellin. “What you do versus what you say you like are different things.”
Along with the ratings change, the streaming company will roll out percent matching, meaning it will utilize algorithms in order to portray a percentage below each title and rate how likely a viewer might enjoy it.
Netflix also found that members are shockingly willing to view Netflix content produced in various nations, or contain subtitles. “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,” explained Yellin.