Fairly recently, BriaAndChrissy, Jaclyn Glenn, and Olga Kay, put a video up talking about how they feel disrespected online because they are sexualized by commenters. They dislike how some people online treat them as sexual objects and don’t discuss their points. Instead, they seem to focus on their looks rather than anything else. They then suggest that this is something many women face, suggesting it to be a gendered issue.
To a degree, I can understand what they are saying, but to another degree, my response was: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Seriously. These women are bitching because they are getting attention online for the work that they do. When I did my Stephanie Guthrie video with NC Clark, a majority of the comments were directed at NC Clark and not me. I was happy that I got so many comments, even if very few were directed at me. I’m lucky to get even one comment on a video I do, or even get 50 views on my video. Yet, these women have it sooooooooo tough on YouTube because there is just so many people talking to them, and not all of them are respectful.
When I look at my career on YouTube, the best I can say about it is: It’s been rocky. My subscribers fluctuate on a day to day basis. I do make progress over a long period, but said progress is slow. I’ve been doing this for 1.5 years and only recently hit the 350 mark. Yet, many who have come after me have many, many more subscribers than I do, while having done less videos than me. I will admit it: I am jealous of my friends. I personally feel that I put in a lot of time and effort into my videos, and yet I do so poorly. It appears to me that being a female on YouTube grants certain advantages that are not available to men. Now you could say that I’m just letting jealousy get the better part of me, except that it is a commonly held belief that women on YT do better than men. More likely to get views, more likely to get comments, and more likely to get subscribers.
Now I will state here that quite many of the women I follow I think deserve the subscribers they have, but at the same time, I feel I and many other men deserve more as well. Quite many of us do good work. And while women also do good work, it seems to be a gap between men and women when it comes to success on YouTube. Your first response to that might be, “What about Thunderf00t or Sargon? They have a lot of subscribers.” Which is true. But like feminists who say men are in power by looking at only the top and nothing else, there are a lot of men who are not at the top.
Is it really fair though? To say women have an easier time because of their gender? What evidence do I have to show this? Until writing this article, I had none. But, after seeing DataTwoHearts video making fun of Jacylyn Glenn (which is how I found out the video even existed), I was inspired to answer this question: Do women on YouTube get more subscribers than men?
I should note that I am not a statistician. I just put numbers in excel and try to create formula to better understand the numbers (you should see what I do for XCom). With those I picked for this study, I started with those to whom I follow. I figured I could search for people randomly and easily find those that fit what I am looking for, such as Feminist researchers often do. By using the people I subscribed to, I could prevent myself from cherry picking the data. I then included some big names of people I don’t follow, including those who were complaining in that video above, Amazing Atheist, and Feminist Frequency.
The first thing I did was look at total subscribers for men and women. You will see that I have 34 Women and 41 Men.
Of those I follow (and those I don’t), the results are a bit all over the place. Some have very high subscribers, some don’t. Some do a lot of videos, some do only a little. It’s hard at this point to really draw any conclusions, so I needed to expand my search. Before I move onto the next section, I will point out one thing I noticed when starting out, which told me there was something worth exploring. Note the averages. For Women, on average have 95,150 subscribers with only 91 videos. Men on the other hand have on average 94,802 with 364 videos. It appears that men do more videos than women (on average), to get the same amount of subscribers. Men produce 400% more videos than women.
Since I couldn’t make any strong conclusions just based on their numbers of subscribers and videos, I decided to try to figure out how long it took for them to reach their first 100 and first 1000 subscribers. So I search for this on the internet, and to my surprise, it doesn’t exist. Tracking that kind of information for every user only exists on individual channels. There are sites that can track subscriptions per user, but it requires for it to be initiated by someone (not necessarily the user themselves), which tracks from that point forward. That doesn’t answer how long it would have taken someone to reach their first 100 views.
Then, I got an idea. Perhaps the best approach was determine how long each person had been doing videos, instead. I determined that by taking a look at their videos and looking at the oldest video they had and recorded the date for that. This isn’t exactly an exact science, as it could easily have been they posted videos prior to that and later removed them. So this isn’t precisely when they started, but rather their oldest date. Lacking the ability to get an exact number for anything, using this was better than nothing. Which means, many of our results are assumptions here on out. Because they are assumptions, they shouldn’t be taken so much as fact, but rather a close indicator of the truth.
While I was tracking this information, I took another thing into consideration. A few people had posted videos several years ago, and then did nothing after that, before posting more videos a year later. One example I saw was someone posting videos a video 6 years ago. Then they posted a few 5 years ago, then really started doing videos on a regular basis until 3 years ago. I tried to exclude the videos they did beyond 3 years, and updated their numbers to match. I reasoned that while they got some subscribers all those years ago, it is also likely they lost them as well due to little to no activity. So I removed those videos from my tally of total videos, which is why my numbers might appear a little off from those seen on their page.
This brings up some interesting results. Using their oldest video as a starting point (or the first video to represent their current run), we see that the average time on YouTube is quite different. It appears women, on average, have been on YouTube for 2 years, 4 months, while Men on average, appear to have been on YouTube for 3 years, 6 months. Men have been on YouTube 50% more than women, yet women in this sample size gain more subscribers per year than men.
The last column tells us how many subscribers do they get each year. In fact, if I had included all the videos, it would have made the men appear to be on YouTube even longer compared to women. While again these are assumptions, as it presumes that the rate of subscribers were steady over a period of time, we can make a conclusion at this point that Men tend to be on YouTube longer than Women, yet women gain more subscribers per year. When women reach the average of 3.5 years, they will likely have an even greater number of subscribers than men had now.
But let us dig deeper into this.
SUBSCRIBERS PER VIDEO
The only way to really know what these values are, is to log into everyone’s account and look. I seriously doubt people will allow me to do that. So, I have to use Math. Knowing how long people have been on YouTube (or been doing their current run), and their total number of videos, I can figure out how often they post videos and how many subscribers they are potentially getting for each video.
Once again, this assumes that individuals maintained a continuous flow of subscribers for each video. That rarely happens, and it is possible that someone got 90% of their subscriptions in their first month and slowly increased there, or got 90% of their current subscribers in the last 30 days. Despite that, we can still learn something from this. With these values, we can determine on average how often someone is posting a video, how many videos a year they are doing, and likely how many subscribers they are getting for each video.
On Average, Women post a video once every two weeks, where men post once every week and a half. Men also post 100% more videos than women do each year, but women get close to 300% more subscribers for each video they do. Same thing we’ve seen before, Men are putting out more videos, but Women are getting more subscribers.
Using the same assumptions up above of continuous subscriptions gained per video over time, I can figure out how long it would have taken said individual to get to their first 100 or 1000 subscribers. Now a few don’t have 1000 subscribers, so for those individuals, it will show how long at their current rate it will take them to reach 1000 subscribers from when they started their channel.
Looking at these results, it appears most women make their first 100 in a months time, with a few within 2 months. Most men make it in their first month for 100 subscribers, but a greater many compared to women take longer than that, somewhere between 2 – 5 months. I can tell you for my channel, it took quite some time for me to get to my first 100.
With the first 1000, some women did it in their first month, while most of the others did it within their first year. Though there are a few women who haven’t yet made it to 1000, and only two who went beyond the 1-year mark. Men on the other hand, had some do it in their first month, some within the first year, and the rest somewhere between 1 year to 6 years. Only one was longer than that.
Looking at overall averages, Women make their first 100 subscribers within 16 days, versus Men who do it in 37 days. Women get their first 1000 subscribers in a little over 5 months, Where men take just about a year.
As with any statistical analysis, there is some numbers that can throw off results. Can you really compare someone with 200 subscribers to another who has 100,000? Not really. There is also the issue of some individuals offsetting the average, because they are doing exceptionally well versus others. So, I attempt to filter these numbers in a few different ways, to see how the rate of subscriptions of men and women stack against each other. Does it remain the same, or does the results change?
As you can see from the first results, there are a few individuals that are skewing the numbers. Their high results is making the average appear higher, such as the Amazing Atheist and Shoe0nHead. So, I took out the two highest subscription, and two of the lowest for each.
As we can see, the numbers do some interesting things. Men end up with over 9000 subs on average, but maintain the amount of videos they do compared to women. Men are still starting earlier than women on YouTube, but release more videos per year. Despite that, women still gain more subscribers per video than men, gaining their first 100 in half a month, and first 1000 in 4 months, compared to men reaching 100 in one month and first 1000 in 11 months. Despite the changes in subscribers, many of the other stats stay consistent to what they were before taking out the big hitters (and small ones).
Let’s take a look at Channels that have less than 1000 subscribers at this time.
This tells us that women on the low-end produce more videos (99/year) and still have more subscribers. Quite likely the reason why these women are on the low end is due to not being online long enough, and likely will reach the numbers that many other women do. I’d say men need to do more videos, but I am among those of the low end, and I do videos about once ever 3 days on average, I can’t imagine doing anymore per week.
So after breaching the 1000 mark, it seems Women are cutting back on the amount of videos per year, with men doing about the same. Despite how close some stats are, we are beginning to see the trend that was in our overall results. Women are getting a lot of subs per video, with men still doing more videos per year.
For this, I had to remove some people out, else the results would have appeared much higher, such as Mundane Matt who has 2500 videos, which doubles the average. This is continuing to trend from the Mid-Level, for those with 10k subs – 100k subs. It appears men have been doing videos much longer than women in this group, but Women are getting much higher subs per video.
On the Ultra end, which is anyone higher than 100k, it appears Men and Women have been doing videos just about as long as each other, with about the same number of subs per year, though men are producing more videos throughout the year, even though women gain more subs per video. Both are getting to 1000 within a weeks time, it’s not really noteworthy of the difference.
Once again, I want you to remember, these numbers are assumptions. This is no way should be taken as a fact. The problem with these numbers is it is taking a look at the whole time and assuming that the amount of subscribers gained was a steady rate. However, there are a few things this study has taught us:
- Women gain more subscribers in less time compared to men
- Men do more videos than women
- Men generally are on YouTube longer than women have been
Something else to keep in mind is that these numbers in this article doesn’t take into account the quality of videos. It may be that women have a much higher quality of video and require more time to produce them. Nor does it take into account length of video, and how length might influence subscribers. We tend to believe shorter videos are preferred, but who really knows. It may be that men have shorter videos than women, which is why men produce so many. I can tell you that these statements are not true, as the quality and length of each video is rather mixed throughout the results.
If my assumptions do reveal a truth, then it is that Women have an easier time gaining subscriptions than men. It’s not a guarantee that Women will be successful while on YouTube, only that their path will be not so strenuous. I can only hope that Women have the wisdom to understand that just because they outperform many men, it is not necessarily an indication that they are superior to men, but rather the deck is stacked in their favor. I imagine many women, however, do believe that because of this phenomenon.
We should also realize that this isn’t the fault of the channels on YouTube, but rather a reflection of viewers of YouTube. It supports what I always say, that men and women are more concerned with women, than they are with men. Now most of those I collected data on were from the movement, so one could draw the conclusion that it is because there are so many men talking about Men’s Rights, and so few Women, that Women get more attention because of how scarce they are within the movement. That’s reasonable, but that is also why I tried to include those not in the movement as well.
I’m betting though, if someone were to take my research and do it on a much grander scale, taking average views of videos, length of videos, and subjective quality of videos, it would still show that Women gain more subscribers while doing less videos than men, as my results have shown in this article. However, my article cannot be taken as black and white. We cannot draw strong conclusions from this, other than that there is a possibility that Women more easily gain subscribers than men do during their time on YouTube.
As far as my career goes…
Not too long ago, I made a video to my subscribers asking what more I could do. While I do think the deck is stacked against me because of my gender and low production value, I am still trying to do all that I can to get more subscribers. I learned that perhaps part of my failure is due to me not fully utilizing YouTube, such as the tags. I’ve started doing tags for my videos, and have noticed a slight increase in subscribers and views. I also recently got a donation which allowed me to update my video quality, which means I might be able to deliver greater content as I prepare, as I am doing other video editing projects. While the stats show that things are not in my favor, I am still going to try to do everything I can for my voice to reach as many ears as I can.