Netflix is pretty good at recommending titles for us all to stream based off of previous viewings, our personal ratings, and more. But we think it could be better and here’s why:
Netflix has spent millions on trying to create algorithmic processes to present what they believe will be the most relevant content to each individual subscriber. It’s often why Netflix seems to continually display the same several titles on our homepages. Netflix just REALLY wants you to watch ‘Snowpiercer’ because it’s software is confident you’ll absolutely love it.
Fair enough, but sometimes this functionality can become a hindrance, and can in fact make the Netflix library seem smaller than it actually is. Specifically, for Netflix power users, the homepage refreshes aren’t occurring frequently enough to make the library seem very diverse. There also still appears to be some broken functionality where users will often see titles that they have already watched be continually recommended. Perhaps Netflix knows us better than we know ourselves, and is actually assuming we do want to re-watch The Office (fair enough, we’ve done that before), but keeping their homepage fresh will go a long way in continually reminding us of the value of being a subscriber.
This is why we hope to once again see third party ratings, such as Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic (IMDB would be great, but we all know Amazon, IMDB’s owner, likely wouldn’t play nicely on this one) integrated back into Netflix. The service once housed these reviews on the platform, but then spent heavy resources on developing their own proprietary system and has since removed all third party review licenses.
But remember the appeal of being able to quickly flip to a filter offering reviews and ratings of content in the Netflix library, a “Rotten Tomatoes” review filter of sorts? It certainly benefit the Netflix platform to offer critic reviews for the indecisive among us, who sometimes need that professional recommendation before making a call on the night’s entertainment. It has been several years since these were removed, and we’d love to see them come back.
Certainly, Netflix is confident that their recommendations are best, but perhaps this hubris could prove costly if users feel that the library is shrinking when the same titles continually appear on the homepage. It’s funny asking the average user if they know they can see a huge new list of titles if they sort by genre, navigating away from the homepage, as most are unfamiliar this functionality exists.
And while maybe Netflix is worried that their original TV shows and movies would end up under negative light if Rotten Tomatoes scores were lower on this content, but so far that hasn’t been much of a problem, Netflix originals tend to outrank their network television counterparts.
Bringing back critical reviews would give a familiar and trusted way to find the next great movie or TV show to watch.