How does the Netflix rating system work

Video streaming: Netflix activates a new rating system for everyone

Five stars become two thumbs - Netflix has activated its new rating system. The new rating system should be available everywhere without having to update an app. Golem.de tried it on a smartphone, a Fire TV box and in the browser. The stars were abolished on all platforms and replaced by the new thumb system.

  1. Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians Hesse, Frankfurt
  2. HA Hessen Agentur GmbH, Wiesbaden

Netflix wants to achieve that as many customers as possible rate the content they watch. The previous five-star rating system should not have managed that. From now on, customers can only decide whether they liked a film or a series good or bad. There is no longer any possibility of classifying a film or series as mediocre.

Netflix promises tailored recommendations

The reviews promise customers that content will be better presented. Ideally, Netflix customers will be suggested primarily those films and series that they might like very much. An algorithm is supposed to bring together users with a similar taste in films. If a customer liked a film, another with similar preferences receives a note about it. With this, Netflix wants to stand out from the competition.

The previous five-star ratings will continue to be used for recommendations, according to Netflix. However, these ratings were not transferred to the thumb system: All star ratings made up until the changeover are no longer visible on the Netflix interface.

No transfer to the new system

As a result, there are no more visible ratings to be seen on the Netflix interface. Anyone who has also used the rating system to remember what content they have already seen will be annoyed. Such users have to laboriously rate all content that has already been graded.

Because even with the new rating system, Netflix continues to recommend content to viewers that they have already rated and thus seen - and not just in the special category for films and series that they have already watched. Selected customers are said to have tried the thumb rating for several months. According to the company, the new rating system has seen a 200 percent increase in ratings.

New presentation of the recommendations

The thumb system changes the representation of the evaluation system. In the case of films and series, customers can now see the details as a percentage of the probability that they might like a film or series. The percentage is based on the ratings made - Netflix expressly points out that with it "not the general popularity of a title" is specified.

In general, all content that the customer is unlikely to like should be hidden. However, if the system is mistaken, the customer is in a sense withheld material that would be of interest to him. This content should then only appear with an explicit search for the title. With the old rating system, it happened again and again that Netflix recommended content to its customers that they would not like at all according to the algorithm.

Many titles without any recommendation

After the changeover, we came across many titles in random samples for which there was no recognizable recommendation. Either it is missing completely or there is a reference that a title is new, i.e. it was recently added to the Netflix range. In the past, a great deal of content was rated in the relevant account, so that the database for Netflix should be sufficient to provide all films and series with the new percentage recommendations. It is currently unclear why these are missing from many titles.