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Coincidence? Netflix killed user reviews right after bad scores piled up for Netflix originals

September 8th, 2018 at 3:12 PM
Netflix originals

Netflix said in July that fewer and fewer users were taking advantage of the option to leave reviews on the streaming service, and so that’s why it decided to phase out the feature completely by the middle of August.

Turns out, though, that may not have been the whole story. Bearing in mind that old bit of wisdom about correlation not implying causality, it’s still interesting to take note of the fact that Netflix may have pulled the plug … because bad user reviews were piling up for the company’s original programming.

The site Cordcutting.com has compiled data that shows, among other things, “the average user ratings of Netflix’s original series and movies had been declining steadily every year since 2012 before being eliminated in 2018.” That’s according to data the site collected from Netflix before the July 31 takedown date.

Cordcutting.com

“Some originals,” the site continues, “still enjoyed positive reviews in Netflix’s system and in broader media, but the productions in aggregate saw review scores slip by 24 percent from their 2012 high as more and more of Netflix’s originals garnered mediocre or outright bad reviews. Netflix’s review system predated all of its original series and movies, and it’s fair to ask if user reviews simply aren’t a wise business move for a company that creates and owns some of its content. When that content is getting battered by bad user reviews, the answer seems obvious.”

Netflix, for its part, isn’t conceding that its originals’ reviews had anything to do with the end of the user review feature, the site notes. Before pointing out that even if that’s true, the site goes on to point out that it still inadvertently gives a big leg up to new Netflix originals, since there’s a huge slate coming into the pipeline this year, and even more in the works, with the company saying it will have more than 1,000 original series and movies on the service by the end of this year.

A number of other reports have come out recently saying Netflix will spend an eye-popping $12 billion to $13 billion on its original content this year, more than every other major studio and network. A recent Indiewire report also announced that Netflix will roll out at least 82 original films this year, far surpassing Warner Bros. and Disney with 23 and 10, respectively.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.




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