I have always found a lot of joy in reading between the lines for the ratings people give on Netflix. I know now that any horror movie above two stars is actually quite watchable and that any blockbuster with three stars is mind-numbingly fun.
But, even though I belong to an elite club of subscribers who actually rate the stuff they watch, Netflix are doing away with the feature for something much simpler. Instead of letting you choose stars out of five, you will soon only be able to vote up or down.
According to beta testing, it was actually quite successful: those involved were 200% more likely to rate a film or show with less choices available.
Speaking recently, Netflix vice president of product Todd Yellin said:
“Five stars feels very yesterday now. 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.”
In addition to the rating change, Netflix will soon personalise your experience more by working out a percentage of your likelihood to enjoy something. So if you like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, you would be 100% keen on Luke Cage. If you like all three, you should be 0% interested in Iron Fist because apparently it’s really, really bad. Okay, maybe 70% interested out of morbid curiosity.
Personally, I don’t welcome this change at all. The rating system, although flawed, does give me an idea about something before I’ve watched it. Recommendations based on what you like and don’t like may be good for other regions, but the selection is so poor here in the UK that it probably won’t even matter.
What do you think?