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The Streamys: Are Awards Shows Dying Off?

While shows like the Oscars and the Emmys have come under fire for years on end for whitewashing and sexism, the Streamys was all-embracing.
Michelle Khare accepts the “Show of the Year” award at the Streamys (Courtesy of @streamys on X, formerly known as Twitter)


Awards shows have been a way of recognizing the incredible work done by those in the entertainment industry since the first Academy Awards in 1929. Ever since, they’ve spread out across the world of films, TV shows, music and even musical theater.

In 2009, the Streamy Awards were introduced to celebrate the ever-growing world of online content creation. It’s clear that the goal of the Streamys is to revive the age-old love of awards shows with a few modern twists to make it more entertaining for younger audiences. However, what isn’t clear is the actual direction they’re trying to take to do so. You can watch the 2023 Streamys here.

A Jumbled Format

Most awards shows are fairly formulaic. The announcers are brought up, crack a few jokes, show the nominees and announce the winners, then maybe break for a performance or a commercial. The Streamys, however, tried to break up this format by introducing a few new segments and even a different way of actually announcing the winners for the categories. The awards that were considered to be more important or perhaps more engaging were given out in the formula described above. But in between these longer sections were compilations of various winners for categories like “Technology” (Marques Brownlee), “Collaboration” (MrBeast and Dwayne Johnson), “Animated” (Helluva Boss), “Unscripted Series” (Sam and Colby) and “Scripted Series” (Bryce Brandon Rogers). The first time they started rapid-firing winners on screen was fairly jarring, and it felt as though they might as well have posted a video montage of all of the winners rather than creating a two-hour-long show where some creators were highlighted more than others in a seemingly arbitrary manner.

The host of the Streamys this year was Matthew Patrick, more commonly known as MatPat, a popular YouTuber known for his channel The Game Theorists, where he digs deep into video game lore and, well, theorizes about it. Unlike many of the creators who were announcing various awards, it’s clear that MatPat knows how to perform to an audience and hold their attention. He was the real highlight of the show as a whole with some funny one-liners, a very engaging energy and even a few jabs at some YouTuber controversy that occurred in the past year (particularly the Colleen Ballinger situation). Unfortunately for MatPat, the crowd was incredibly dry and hardly laughed or cheered. The comments under the official livestream say all there needs to be said: “MatPat did a fantastic job! It’s really too bad the crowd energy wasn’t quite there for his sections,” said user @mr.vortex1. @migovas1483 agreed, stating “Matpat did his best to save this event, all props to him …” Quite honestly, the show was going fairly well until the live-action game of Among Us started.

An Assortment of Categories

While the formula did push many creators and channels to the back burner, the sheer number of categories that are featured in the Streamys would result in an over ten-hour-long ceremony if each award was given out individually. With such a wide variety of content that is produced on a day-to-day basis, the categories span from dance to philanthropy to product creation in a clear attempt to hit every base possible. At some point, it’s just so much to process that creators get lost in the background.

There was also no clarity on the qualifications of each award, the basis on which each creator was being judged, and sometimes there wasn’t even an explanation as to what an award was supposed to be. The first award of the night was labeled “Just Chatting,” and featured creators like HasanAbi, Kai Cenat, Quackity, xQc and YourRAGE. After digging through the Streamys website a bit, one can find more information on each category.  As it turns out “Just Chatting” is for “Channel, creator, series, short form, show or social video that broadcasts conversations and storytelling with fans about any and all subjects.” This still feels pretty vague but makes more sense than just announcing the name of the category and the winner with no clarification.

Something that can be said in favor of the Streamys compared to other awards shows is the inclusivity of it all. While shows like the Oscars and the Emmys have come under fire for years on end for whitewashing and sexism, the Streamys was all-embracing. People of all backgrounds and sexualities were nominees and winners alike. Dylan Mulvaney, a trans woman who grew in popularity due to her TikTok series “Days of Girlhood” spoke on the importance of kindness and open-mindedness in her acceptance speech for the “Breakout Creator” award. “I look around this room and I just see so many amazing allies that have platforms, and I think allyship needs to look differently and you need to support trans people publicly and proudly,” she stated. “I know that we can stay optimistic about the future of transness in general, because if we can influence people to buy $22 Erewhon smoothies we can also do this.”

The Result

It is admirable that the Streamys are not only trying to bring to light the importance of content creators in our day and age, but also trying to keep the love of awards shows alive. The strange mix of catering to an older audience of people who love shows like the Oscars and the Emmys while also trying to keep a youthful appearance and humor just isn’t working. According to the CBC, the Oscars lost nearly half of their viewers in the last decade, dropping from 43 million in 2014 to 23 million in 2020, before dropping again in 2021 to only 10.4 million. And while the creators that were recognized at the Streamys have tens of millions of subscribers and viewers all put together, this year’s ceremony only has 1.2 million views an entire week after having been live-streamed. It’s hard to tell if appealing more to the younger generation or pulling back from being a bunch of millennials trying to relate to Gen Z and Gen Alpha will be the Streamys’ saving grace. Sitting where they are right now is almost certainly not the solution. 


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About the Contributor
Audrey Hall, Arts Writer
(she/they) Audrey Hall is a second-year student majoring in English and French. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City and has been a Utes fan since day one! In high school she developed a passion for both creative writing and news writing, which led her to write for the Skyline Horizon and eventually the Chronicle. In her free time, she plays water polo for the University's club team and plays a lot of video games.

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