The Stars Are Gone: Netflix Officially Rolls Out New Ratings System

The Stars Are Gone: Netflix Officially Rolls Out New Ratings System
Netflix

If new plans from Netflix are successful, the streaming giant may have found a way to make finding your next binge-worthy TV series much easier. Today Netflix officially released its new rating system, which replaces the longstanding star system with a simple "thumbs up/thumbs down" solution.

Users will no longer rate movies and TV shows on the service with a sliding five-star rating. Instead, they'll give the show or movie a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down," which Netflix says translates into "this one's for me" or "this one's not for me."

More importantly, those star ratings will no longer appear on shows and movies you haven't yet watched. Instead, you'll see a percentage, which indicates how much Netflix feels the program appeals to your specific tastes.

That change is the real key to the new system. Although the stars have been around for more than a decade, most users failed to understand what they actually meant.

When browsing Netflix before , you may have come across a show with a 1-star rating. That rating didn't come from critics, a la Rotten Tomatoes. Instead, it was Netflix's prediction of what rating you personally would give the show.

Your neighbor or a friend might have come across the same show and seen a 5-star rating. Again, that's because the rating reflected how much Netflix thought each person would enjoy it.

The new percentage matches make this much easier to understand. And the "thumbs down" rating essentially brings back a feature many users (myself included) had sorely been missing: the "Not Interested" rating.

For years, the Netflix star ratings had a secondary option titled "Not Interested." It was handy when shows or movies would appear on your homepage or in your recommendations that you knew without even watching that you would not like.

Now, you can click "thumbs down" on a show or movie whether you've seen it or not. Doing so will remove the selection from your homepage and recommendations, although it can always be found by searching.

It's a big change, especially if you're a Netflix power user like myself who actually did understand the star system and literally spent hours rating shows and movies in order to better personalize the experience.

Fortunately, that time wasn't completely wasted; Netflix says it will still utilize users' prior star ratings to suggest content for them.

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  • Barry Rice
    Barry Rice Apr 13, 2017 2:48 PM PDT

    Spartacus, you are incorrect. The star ratings were not a collective sampling, rather they were tailored for each user based on how other users with similar tastes had rated each film/show.

  • Kevin Lau
    Kevin Lau Apr 12, 2017 10:31 AM PDT

    Hate new thumb rating. Now I can't tell which movies are good or bad.

  • Spartacus
    Spartacus Apr 9, 2017 11:59 AM PDT

    The author does not know what the stars meant. They were a collective rating by all users who gave a rating on a particular movie after watching it - kind of a popular vote system. By removing the start system Netflix hope we watch the crappy movies they buy for cheap. One way to overcome just search a title you like on Google get other system rating on the movie before you waste your time try to watch a 1 star movie. I give thumb down to all movies watched it or not just to fight back this stupid thumb up/down system. If we all did it, we mess up Netflix data and they will be forced to put back the popular star system.

  • Larry
    Larry Apr 6, 2017 9:13 AM PDT

    It SUUUUCCCKKKS. period. It's not better, it makes it more difficult to find a good movie.

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