Are Streaming Services Making Ranking Films and TV Series Too Confusing?

How does the rise of streaming services affect the way movies receive their rankings and awards?

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By, Cassandra Hoddinott & Chantel Colwill

When the internet because a household commodity, the streaming of videos, illegally, started. With companies like DivX, people were able to send video files through emails, and have those videos either burned on a disk or leaked through a pirating website. That quickly led to the invention of YouTube in 2006. This video-sharing website was a game changer, creators were able to release videos of themselves, television shows, and movies, with the last two still being illegal.

Then came the next big fish in streaming, Netflix. According to, the company was founded in 1997 when it started by distributing DVDs to customers’ homes. The rise of the internet, and Netflix having the movie library, that they did at the time, opened the door to legal online streaming. Since then, they now create their TV series and big-budget films.

Now, in 2023 we have so many streaming services it's becoming increasingly difficult for movie critics and awards shows to know how to attribute credit where it was deserved. When speaking with Michelle Arvizu, (Actor/Film producer), she explained that the very way movies and TV shows are being ranked has dramatically changed, “Ratings used to be exclusive for television content, while box-office had to do with ticket, how many pairs of eyes did we put in front of the movie at the theatre.”

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As watching content such as movies evolves, it is only natural that our way of ranking movies evolves alongside. Websites like, have produced a way to rank movies that are released online. compiles the rating information from websites such as Netflix, Google, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. From that information, they can tally a ranking method that allows critics, and viewers to see what is popular in society right now.


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Michelle Arvizu
Photo Credit-Michelle Arvizu

Michelle explains that when streaming services first came on the scene, they offered a place where the little fish could make a name for themselves without breaking the bank. Then the larger known producers and actors started to make deals to release movies exclusively on their platforms. Which made it difficult for Hollywood to compete without jumping on board. This meant that companies like Disney, Paramount and MGM had to become streaming services as well, now these large corporations can release films in theatres, as well as online and make profits through subscriptions and ticket sales. Which allows for box-office films to be rated with, the now, big-budget streaming films.

The film industry has found a way to ensure their relevance and inclusion within the community, but the same may not be said for advertisers. Before the days of streaming shows online, we would watch cable TV which of course has commercials. Now, it is less common for commercials to be played on streaming services, especially those that have a paid subscription. Disney released a webpage of subcategories that allows you to check out the different styles of advertising they use and plan to utilize in the future. According to one way Disney+ (and others) are combating zero commercials, is to add commercial breaks for binge watchers.

So, if you have watched several episodes or continuous hours of the same show, you will be shown an ad of sorts. “Netflix, which long resisted accepting ads, cried uncle in April when the company announced a rare loss of subscribers for its most recent quarter. Disney, on the other hand, is moving full steam ahead with advertising in 2022 even though its subscriber growth is actually exceeding Wall Street analysts’ expectations.” Kristen Kalupski wrote in, “What is the Impact of Advertising on Streaming?”, an article on

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