In a first-of-its-kind study, streaming facilitator service OPG asked the question ‘Is it easier to be a woman on Twitch?’. Predictably, they came back with a totally-not-shocking answer: ‘no, not at all.’ Aside from the numbers, the good folks at OPG made note in the blog post accompanying the study’s release that women streamers deal with a constant feed of abuse in their chats from people who are best described as human garbage (my phraseology, not theirs).
OPG, the Online Performers Group, was founded in 2015 by Omeed Dariani (formerly of Sony Online Entertainment) to serve as a sort of middle man/facilitator for streamers and the publishers who want to leverage them. Their so-called ‘Talent Ninja’, a man by the name of Moblord, often contemplated the situation of women on Twitch and decided to do some digging.
With the help of Twinge.tv and what sounds like a veritable army of helpers from the Twitch community, OPG put together a brief study on ‘the female question’ of Twitch. Contrary to what many men think, it turns out being a woman on Twitch isn’t the Kraft Instant Mac n’ Cheese recipe for success in streaming. Less than 25% of Twitch’s Top 2500 streamers are women; in the Top 500 Most Followed streams, that number drops to less than 10%.
Other interesting statistics include women receiving significantly fewer concurrent viewers than men and concurrent viewer growth being 10 times larger for men than it is women. OPG states that they are now in touch with the data scientists at Twitch to conduct further demographic studies such as this one.
In another life, I cared very deeply about streaming: what worked, what didn’t, what were good numbers, getting partnered, gathering subs. In the course of my duties in that life, I often had conversations with business partners that went something like this:
Business Man: “We don’t have enough hot girls on our stream!”
Me: “It’s pretty difficult to find women who are both willing to work for nothing and also know the games we cover extremely well.”
Business Man: “Screw the games, we need hot chicks!”
Women streamers undeniably attract attention from a certain demographic, but that same demographic is content to just drive by, hurl abuse out their window (or via their Twitch account), get banned from the channel, and move on. With these statistics, we now know that abusive drive-bys do not translate to sustained growth on the world’s largest streaming platform; they are just abusive drive-bys.