Netflix is thinking about getting rid of star ratings

Netflix on iPad Screencap

Netflix is thinking about offing one of the oldest and most ubiquitous features associated with movies and TV shows: star ratings.

The company has been testing user preferences for years now, trying to understand what brings a user to actually press the “play” button. And the company tells us that one of the its biggest findings is that unbalanced effect star ratings have.

While a user will often add a highly rated program to their queue, that does not mean they will actually watch it.

This leads Netflix researchers to think that the one to four star ranking system may be a huge red herring.

With this, Netflix tells us it will be “moving away from star ratings.”

The thinking is: if high-star ratings don’t actually lead people to watching the movie, why include it at all?

However, the company has not made a formal decision to nix the age-old metric once and for all, and says “no timetable has been set.”

If this indeed does come to pass, the little Roger Ebert in all of us will have to find another outlet. But at least the jerk that gave “Titanic” a 1-star rating will no longer have a say in things. [Ed note: The jerk was right.]

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