ASMR: The Newest YouTube Trend


With technology vastly changing and steadily improving over time, major social networks such as YouTube are experiencing a new phenomenon.

Since the beginning of time, people have sought out personal ways to find relaxation, and prolong their comfort. This feeling is becoming increasingly more important to discover, as high amounts of anxiety and stress have gradually crept into our very busy lives. Many people are realizing that they are in search of a specific calming emotion, and commonly use outlets such as music to acquire it. The feeling of ease, and release of stress while listening to certain music or sounds can possibly be caused by a sensory sensation known as “ASMR”. ASMR is being incorporated in social networks to trigger visual and audio stimuli for consumers. Explore this blog to learn more about what ASMR is, and how it is being utilized to gain more consumers and help businesses flourish.

Introduction to ASMR

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is the study of a sensory phenomenon, which involves the experience of sensational tingling and feeling goose bumps across sensitive surfaces. This physical reaction shows up in areas of the skin such as the scalp and neck, by means of audio and visual stimulation. Some examples of basic stimuli are slow movements, whispering, and crisp sounds. For people who are already engaging in ASMR stimulation, studies have shown improvements in depression and chronic pain. YouTube has videos and audio specifically geared towards ASMR, and is more popular in searches than other feel-good triggers like “candy” or “chocolate”. The sensational feeling that ASMR delivers helps people feel at ease, receive comforting chills, and peace of mind. Triggering this stimulation also helps with anxiety and commonly relinquishes any negative thoughts or well-being.


Social networks and social content sharing sites such as YouTube have already implemented ASMR to their advantage to reach a wider audience, more subscribers, and new consumers. For example, Heather Feather is a popular “ASMRtist” with over 450,000 subscribers. Successful ASMR videos can reach upwards of 16 million views because of how effective they are with consumers. This trend has cultivated approximately 5.2 million ASMR videos already on YouTube, with an exponential growth of 200% year over year from 2015. The peak hours of watching or listening to ASMR themed videos are usually around 10:30 pm, which is around the time when people start getting ready for bed or are in the midst of relaxation. Videos like this can engage multiple senses, and range from listening to soft spoken speakers, to watching someone gently touching snow (or other comforting visuals) that reflect serenity and ease the brain.

ASMR Effect on Brands

Beyond the benefits of reaching a more broad audience through ASMR visualizations and sounds, a great way to increase awareness is by strategically incorporating it into your business brand. Popular companies such as Taco Bell, Tic Tac, KFC, and Dove have already jumped on the ASMR bandwagon alongside ASMR YouTube stars, by using objects, food, and sounds to trigger the goose bump effect—a sensation that some people physically feel as they respond to visuals and sounds.The audio & visual alone achieve great relaxation for consumers, which in return will help them remember what brand, product, or object put them in a harmonious state of mind.

Larger and Broader Audiences

Although there is no scientific research that can state the exact number of people who are able to experience the effects of ASMR videos, we have learned that a multitude of audiences can be reached after seeing such positive growth response online in the last few years. Audiences may not even know why they are responding so positively to a product commercial, movie, or television show. Men and women alike have been enjoying ASMR content for years without even knowing it. A handful of movies and trailers captivate audiences by triggering physical responses. These responses are saved as a positive memory in the brain, and therefore cause people to want to see the movies, or re-watch the reactionary clips. This might be why the trend of video stimulation on YouTube has grown so rapidly. The average age of our current day ASMR video consumers are rather young—ranging from 18-25 years old. This age group statistically makes sense with the type of videos that have gained the most popularity, as approximately 77% of viewers are looking up content related to beauty and fitness.

The beauty regimen involving the application of face makeup has grown to be a big hit with teenagers and young women. Makeup videos are doubling as ASMR videos by creating visuals and unique noises to aid in viewer relaxation. For example, some ASMR YouTube stars try to simulate the feeling of getting your makeup done in a makeup artist’s chair or even use makeup products and utensils to create sounds. Even popular YouTube makeup stars such as Michelle Phan (who has 8.6 million subscribers) has also turned to creating ASMR videos to broaden the audience she can reach.

The effects of ASMR can also be linked to audiences that love gaming and technology. Consumers and viewers that enjoy ASMR are twice as likely to be involved in the market for technology products and game consoles. Brain related studies have concluded that the reason for this may be that playing or watching video games can increase the senses.

Overall, the audience for ASMR content is growing and becoming a consistent trend. Businesses technically do not have to understand the phenomenon, but incorporating the same neurological ideas behind the idea is beneficial. This community can be reached through a variety of channels, mediums and creatively produced content. ASMR integration doesn’t require a brand to change their business model, but rather offers a new layer of stimulation that may help a company’s ability to connect with people on a subliminal level. It would not hurt a business to take that creative jump!

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