You may have noticed that Netflix ratings appear for you.  But what does this Netflix rating mean and how do they determine the star-rating?

Star Rating

One might assume these Netflix ratings are based on how popular the series/show/movie is across all of Netflix, based on what everyone is watching on Netflix.  Or one could assume that the Netflix ratings increase or decrease based on people indicating how they felt about the series/show/movie after watching it; like vs. dislike.  But neither of these are true.  It’s a bit more complex (and neat!) than these suggestions.

So what do the Netflix ratings mean?

The Netflix ratings actually represent a collection of users who have similar entertainment tastes as you.  So while you watch Netflix, they are (obviously) keeping track of your viewing behaviors.  If you physically review a piece of content by giving it a star value yourself, 1-star for things you did not like and 5-stars for things you loved, Netflix pays attention.  Then they group you with other users who have similar viewing interests as yourself.  So…. the star Netflix rating you see is unique to you!  Neat, right?  Therefore, it’s entirely possible for the same movie to display two different Netflix ratings for two different people.  Don’t take our word for it, see how Netflix explains it here.

So we tested Netflix ratings!

We tested this to see how how different the ratings were for Rob and Alyshia; see below.

Netflix Ratings Rob vs. Alyshia

As you can see, Rob and Alyshia are getting very different star-ratings based on their Netflix viewing and rating habits.  Rob should probably avoid watching “Chelsea Does” – yikes!  Theoretically, Rob’s ratings are probably more accurate because he actually does provide feedback to Netflix if he loved or hated something, using the ratings, after he watches some programs; while Alyshia does not. Either way, it’s interesting how Netflix is personalizing your experience for you and trying to provide you the best recommendations based on what you might actually enjoy watching.

Another tip – if you want your ratings to be more accurate to you, ensure you’ve created your own user profile so Netflix can get smart about the stuff you like to watch.  

How accurate are the ratings that Netflix is showing you?  Want to watch more Netflix?  Learn more about how to use NightShift as your Netflix DVR: right here.