REPORT: 71% of Netflix Subscribers Dislike the New Rating System

In case you didn’t log into Netflix this weekend to watch ‘The West Wing’ for eight hours straight (not that we did that or anything…), they recently got rid of their star rating system, and instead replaced it with thumbs up and thumbs down.

This new system it turns out, has been very unpopular, at least when browsing social media responses to the change. People are upset that the ratings are now binary, leaving less room for refining the individual recommendations based on taste.

We wanted to dive deeper into these negative comments, so we took a survey of 1,103 US-based Netflix subscribers over the weekend to figure out just how unpopular this new ratings system is. It turns out a majority of people are quite upset with the change.

What we found:

  • 71% of Netflix subscribers dislike the new ratings system (780).
  • 19% of Netflix subscribers like the change (211).
  • 10% of Netflix subscribers are unsure how they feel / didn’t notice the change (112).

Here are some of our favorite quotes from the survey:

“Things aren’t black and white, yes or no. I want to be able to offer a variety of responses to what I like and don’t like. Sometimes it’s a two star or a four star, not just 0 or 100.”

“I’ll give it a shot I guess, but it seems very limiting.”

“It’s not like I’m going to cancel Netflix or anything because of this, but it is kind of annoying.”

“Netflix normally doesn’t screw things up, but this one seems like a big mistake.”

“I always thought the rating system was bad anyways, this doesn’t change much. I know what I want to watch most of the time I use their service.”

Netflix has stated via customer service conversations that these new ratings are not necessarily permanent, so if you much prefer the old system, they are willing to hear you out. Please keep in mind though, that if you choose to contact Netflix, the rep you’re speaking with is likely only able to pass this information up the chain, so leave the pitchforks at home.

Netflix is often voted as one of the most popular companies in the world, but people have been quite critical with this recent change. Anecdotally, as we have been covering Netflix for several years now, it seems as if sentiment towards the streaming service has been shifting negative ever so slightly, especially with the recent decreases in total title count. Several years ago, they also struggled through the whole Qwikster debacle, a rare misstep for the company that otherwise seems to do so many things right.

What do you think of the new rating system? Let us know in the comments.

  • sam1331

    I’m fine with it. My mom has always had trouble understanding that the star ratings are customized to her preferences, they don’t come down from professional reviewers. I think the new system makes that clearer, and I don’t think moving to thumbs up/down is going to radically alter how effective the system is, they already incorporate other information other than your actual ratings into the system.

  • Michele Tornetta

    I can’t express how much I hate it. Now instead or rating a show I may watch, not because I want to be wowed..but it’s late, I may fall asleep…let’s watch a nature show..which is not a 5 star movie like Lord of the Rings, but I liked it…3 rating – now…if I give it a thumbs up…(because I watch/fall asleep to lots of nature shows)…that’s the majority of what they recommend, so I have to give it a thumbs down – so I’m not overwhelmed with nothing but nature shows! UGH!!! Likewise the % they’re giving shows…so so wrong…They’re raking things I would normally give a 2 star…90%+ that it’s a show for me. I’m having a terrible time finding something to watch now, to the point where, if they don’t fix this/revert back, I’ll be cancelling.

  • TJP

    The new percentage rating system, in plain English, stinks! I am looking at Amazon Prime as a replacement.

  • PJ Long

    Hate the new ratings system. Movies are not just great or terrible. Plus now I have no idea which movies I’ve watched or not – it was easy before as I could see what I’d rated in the past and knew if I’d watched it or not.

  • David Corey

    Thumbs down on the new rating system. Life, like movies is 50 shades of grey. They had it right the first time with 1-5 Star system. I’ve rated over 2,000 titles using that system. How does become less refined serve as an improvement? Let’s not dumb down the system, let’s educate users how to use the 5 star system! It’s this refinement that allows Netflix algorithm to be more precise, Who lives in a black and white world? What is this, the Roman Coliseum?