Todd Yellin, who is the CEO of Product Innovation of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), has revealed they are going to phase out the current five-star rating system and go for a simpler thumbs-up/thumbs down metric. Yellin says they have carried out A/B tests and discovered that a simpler thumbs rating system works better. It increased the number of ratings by an impressive 200 percent.
Netflix Ratings Didn’t Really Tell the Correct Story
The tests were carried out last year among thousands of subscribers. Speaking to reporters, Yellin said Netflix now realizes that star ratings are not really important indicators. Many users, for instance, give a full 5 star rating to documentaries, while giving a comedy just a 3 rating, though most of them eventually watch more comedy than documentaries. This is why it doesn’t really make sense.
He said, “We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important”. The change is going to be implemented in the coming weeks. The interface is also going to disappear once the change is rolled out.
However, the critics are saying this change will lead to the further decline of criticism. Often, they are pointing out that reviewing a title isn’t as simple as thumbs up or thumbs down. A star rating offered many more options. So they are saying the impact on film culture may not be very good in the long-term.
The CEO disclosed Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) will also be adding a percent-match feature that will show how much subscribers might enjoy a title. For instance, a show that may closely fir the liking of a viewer could have a 98 percent match, but titles that have a match of less than 50 percent won’t show a rating. The compatibility score will range from 0 to 100 percent.
Evaluation and Rating Has Always Been a Debatable Issue
What is the best way to evaluate a film? The critics are divided over this. In fact, this debate has raged for as long as the medium has enjoyed its popularity. There are still no clear answers. Many critics shun star ratings, while others have often rated between A and F. Roger Ebert together with Gene Siskel trademarked the thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating on their television show. But there was always a review and thoughtful discussion that came with the rating. What Netflix does isn’t all that detailed or interesting.