Gender inequality still major issue in streaming as 2021 streaming data revealed

Stream Hatchet’s 2021 report reveals last year’s top Twitch streamers and shows females still struggle to make it at the top end of the industry

2021 Stream Hatchet Report: Female Streamer Amouranth sat in a grey top

Stream Hatchet’s 2021 report into the livestreaming industry is here, revealing which of the biggest streamers racked up the most watch time last year and highlighting a large disparity between male and female streamers.

Every year, this leading livestream data analyst publishes a report that looks at the viewership data for the biggest streamers on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming alongside the most-watched games and the largest content creator networks. It might surprise you to know that Grand Theft Auto V is the most-watched game of 2021, but the most damning part of this report is Stream Hatchet’s investigation into the fair representation of women in streaming.

Stream Hatchet has reported that only 27% of the top 3,000 videogame streamers on Twitch, Youtube and Facebook Gaming are female. This is slightly lower than 2020’s figure of 28% and clearly shows a disparity between the success of male and female streamers on these platforms.

Zoomph’s Impact of Women in Gaming report, however, suggests that these women provide more social value than their male counterparts. This, in part, is being attributed to partnerships with brands looking to make a positive impact in gaming. However, viewership figures shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, this is where the disparity is most clear.

Kaitlyn ‘Amouranth’ Siragusa is Twitch’s top female streamer with just under 39 million hours watched throughout 2021. She has over eight million more hours watched than Rachel ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter – last year’s number one, who streams on YouTube – and almost double the hours of other popular female streamers like Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys.

We know this sounds like a lot, but it pales in comparison to the hours watched of top male streamers on Twitch, Youtube, and Facebook Gaming. Amouranth and Valkyrae are only the 46th and 63rd most-watched streamers of 2021 respectively, and their viewership is dwarfed by the male streamers at the very top.

Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel was watched an incredible 273 million hours in 2021 – that’s seven times as much viewership as Amouranth. He might be in a league of his own, though, as the second-most watched streamer, Alexandre ‘Gaules’ Borba, is hardly in a position to compete with 165 million hours watched.

Stream Hatchet goes on to report that only 11.3% of Twitch’s top 1,000 channels, based on average viewership, are channels associated with female streamers and influencers. This percentage drops to 8.3% looking at YouTube and it drops again, to 7.4%, when looking at Facebook Gaming. Despite efforts from these platforms to reduce the gender gap, there is clearly a long way to go before we see equal representation between male and female streamers.

It’s worth noting, though, that Stream Hatchet does not take non-binary streamers into account in this report.