TV

Netflix is scrapping star ratings in favour of a thumbs up or down

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Gary Ogden
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Have you ever rated a TV show on Netflix? I haven’t and I don’t know anybody who does, but still, people do. Then again, people are idiots, so you end up with clear five-star programmes like The Office getting two and a half stars. Idiots don’t like good things, and some people rate things without even watching them – a good proportion of Netflix subscribers are the kind of people who get in a lift and press all the buttons. The star ratings are a thing to be ignored, in my opinion.

However, they do work some way to helping the viewer out personally – tell Netflix you like something and it will recommend similar things, tell them you hate The Office and it will show you nothing good ever again.

Netflix are looking out for us here, so they’ve decided to change this outdated rating method and replace it with a much easier thumbs up/thumbs down system instead. They’ve picked this because people are lazy, and trying to decide what to rate a film out of five is really difficult for them – a choice between two is far easier.

Did you like what you just watched?

  1. YEAH I DID

Press thumbs up.

  1. NO I DIDN’T, ME NOT LIKE

Press thumbs down

  1. UMMMM

DON’T FUCKING RATE IT

Essentially, this is to help you, rather than everyone else. Vice president of Netflix, Todd Yellin says: “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? What you do versus what you say you like are different things.”

This will lead to “percent matching”, which essentially involves putting a percentage underneath a film or TV show, that lets the user know how likely they are to enjoy it based on their previous ratings. 

It’s not clear how the thumb rating will let other people know how “good” a title is though, because having merely a whole bunch of thumbs up or a thumbs down underneath each one won’t really tell anyone anything. 

God, who cares? You should be ignoring it anyway – watch what you want to watch. Like this – it’s way better than one star, trust me.

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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