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A massive change is coming to the Netflix movie rating system and you might not like it

Published Mar 17th, 2017 7:45AM EDT
Netflix Movie Rating System

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Next time you’re going to rate a movie or TV series on Netflix, you won’t be able to give it a number of stars you think it deserves. Instead, you’ll have to choose between a thumbs up (like) or thumbs down (display) option. That also means the star-based ratings will disappear from Netflix, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The change is coming worldwide starting April.

Netflix confirmed the move in a press briefing on Thursday, The Verge reports.

“Five stars feels very yesterday now,” Netflix vice president of product Todd Yellin said. “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.”

Yellin also said that “bubbling up the stuff people actually want to watch is super important.”

Netflix will still show a percentage next to a title, but that number will represent how likely it is for you to enjoy that title. It won’t be a rating, and it shouldn’t be considered one. The “matching” percentage is based on a global database of activity, not a regional one,

Netflix explained that it decided to change its rating system after testing the feature for a few months. Hundreds of thousands of Netflix users experienced the thumbs up/down system, and the company observed that more than 200% more ratings were logged that way.

The new like/dislike option seems to be about getting more people to rate their experience with a particular title and might be an easier concept to grasp rather than trying to figure out how many stars a show deserves.

“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?” Yellin asked. “What you do versus what you say you like are different things.”

I for one will not miss the star-based rating system, but I’m betting many Netflix users will.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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