Netflix Nixes Member Review Section

A big part of Netflix is offering personalized stuff for its viewers -- suggestions, recommendations. But viewers-aiding-viewers with their selections? Not so much.

Netflix is getting rid of its member reviews section on its website because of declining usage. These reviews aren’t available on its connected TV or mobile app.

We know Netflix has its own algorithm when it comes to figuring out what users might like to see -- in large part based on their past historical behavior.

In addition, Netflix has had a rating star system -- one through five. But now, Netflix is streamlining, offering a more simple thumbs up or down for particular TV or movie.

Why? Because the star system put viewers into “critic” mode, according to some. Instead of saying how much users enjoyed a show, they tried to assess its objective worth -- as if they were critics. The simpler, social media-like thumbs up or thumbs down is a more personalize approach.



A broader picture takes in what Netflix might be thinking -- that those who “comment” back about content on digital platforms may not have much real value.

We know “reviews” have a more lean-back feel. And if the members are good writers, have a strong entertaining perspective, all this might work. But more in a digital media world. Short blurbs, one-liners, snippy retorts or one simple direct sentence are probably what the majority of digital media consumers want.

Netflix realizes the majority of TV consumers are pressed for time, wanting to find something quickly. Member reviews might slow this process down, which slows viewership, yielding lower overall buzz.

All this goes more to the overall value user-generated content. What is the scale of video consumers reading long, multi-paragraph tweets or comments about TV-movie content? Many websites have banished their comment sections entirely.

More importantly what is the actual influence of those longer comments and/or reviews? Are consumers really moved to a significant degree? Or will the shorter, nastier stuff work at well?

Big-time immediate and emotional reactions to media account for something. (It can even get performers/producers in the media -- TV and movies -- fired.)

Netflix figures it’s better to put most highly charged material into the TV show or film.

Yes, we need context. But everyone has an opinion.

1 comment about "Netflix Nixes Member Review Section".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 10, 2018 at 10:53 a.m.

    Makes sense, Wayne. Since Netflix is spending trillions of dollars on origininal content it certainly doesn't want to allow its subscribers to tell it what they really think of its shows----after all, that might take too much time out of their binge watching days.

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