Statistically, if there’s one subscription streaming video service that the majority of people are most likely to be a member of, it’s Netflix. Now available in countries all over the world, Netflix boasts millions upon millions of subscribers across the globe, and in its home country of the United States, has become an almost ubiquitous aspect of modern life. Netflix is in many ways to streaming SVOD services as Google is to search engines, although with not quite the level of total market dominance over competitors like Hulu and Amazon Prime.
This all makes sense to an extent, as Netflix has long been on the forefront of streaming subscription video, and were one of the first online services to offer subscribers unlimited amounts of viewing for one flat fee per month. Netflix has also led the way when it comes to creating acclaimed original programming, an area competing services are only recently starting to catch up in. Shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Stranger Things have helped cement Netflix originals as one of the biggest topics of pop cultural discussion out there, and that’s not even mentioning Marvel-based hits like Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Netflix users are about to experience a big change when it comes to the popular recommendation feature of the service, though. As reported by The Verge, Netflix will soon abandon its standard five-star rating system for movies and shows, and replace it with a more straightforward “thumbs up, thumbs down” method. This decision comes after a beta test conducted among several hundred thousand Netflix users saw the percentage of rated titles shoot up a staggering 200 percent. The new rating system will begin a global rollout in April.
In addition to the demise of star ratings, Netflix will also soon begin using a percentage-based matching algorithm to determine which titles a given user is more likely to enjoy, and then bring those titles to the forefront. This will be based not only on user ratings, but on personalized viewing statistics. This set up is the result of studies showing that something a given user rated 5 stars does not necessarily end up being watched more often by them than something rated slightly less favorably, such as 3 stars.
For those wondering what will become of all their previously assigned star ratings, those ratings will reportedly still be factored into recommendations, although it’s a bit unclear as to how exactly this will be accomplished. One assumes that maybe a rating above a certain level might be interpreted as a thumbs up, while a rating below that level would be interpreted as a thumbs down. For now, though, that’s only speculation.
Source: The Verge