ASMR: What makes a video successful/unsuccessful?

In ASMR, it’s very easy to try out a “trigger” or roleplay in your video and end up falling short on what you thought would be most engaging. I’ve tried making a video myself, and it’s a lot more challenging than what people who only watch ASMR would think. Trying to find the right angles, lighting, “triggers”, tone of voice, props, it’s all very complicated. So before you think to yourself, “I could do this every week instead of an actual career, it seems easy”, think again. Take time to appreciate some of the best ASMR creators on Youtube or Reddit, and think about the necessary means and know-how they had to develop to become so prominent in their videos.[1]


The Basics

There are a lot of things that are key in creating a successful ASMR channel. I’ve mentioned before that the biggest ones are tone of voice, microphone quality, video quality, and props. As with any YouTube video, the first thing that’s going to grab viewer’s attention is whether or not your thumbnail is of good quality or not. This can give away the quality of your video. So you probably wonder why I put voice ahead of quality in this case. This is because, no matter how broad ASMR genres tend to be, when you’re looking for a very specific ASMR clip that isn’t so mass-produced, you might have to be forced to watch a lower quality video. Most of the time you can get passed this if the producer has a soothing voice for experiencing triggers. That’s the whole reason behind ASMR.


Image Source


A Look into “Triggers”

As we talk about what makes a video successful in providing the right content, or “triggers”, it’s interesting to remember that not everyone can feel them. There’s a segment of the population, however large, that completely miss the concept about ASMR because they receive no stimulus from it. As ASMR becomes more popular, this issue becomes more prevalent. On ASMRUniversity, there’s a link to an online survey being done on this particular phenomenon by the founder of ASMRUniversity, Craig Richard, the woman who is famous for the term “autonomous sensory meridian response”, Jennifer Allen, and a graduate psychology student, Karissa Burnett.[2][3] The article mentions they are studying the characteristics of those who experience ASMR, such as their gender, age, medical conditions, etc., and those who don’t experience it at all. There’s also a timeline of updated information at the end. According to the timeline, this idea behind the research started in August 2014, and the survey itself was made and put online in November 2014. By the first month, the survey had 5,000 responses all the way into October 2015 when the number of polls reached 14,000. The survey is still open to the public, but the data analysis is in progress as we speak. The updates on the findings will come at a later date.

In continuation with that article, another study done by Emma Barratt and Nick Davis, follows research done to study the common “triggers” through ASMR and their effects on clinically-diagnosed depression and chronic pain in viewers. What I love most about this article, however, is its ability to put into words what most scholarly articles cannot because of ASMR’s low focus in the scientific community. It mentions the top YouTube channels and their number of subscriber, as it dives deeper into how ASMR is becoming more recognized by the media. Then it begins to explain the associations between the “triggers” and their common effects on viewers with or without some kind of clinical disability. In the end, whether the use be for sleep, as 82% percent stated, 70% for stress, or a niche 5% for sexual arousal, the consensus was clear: ASMR is present, and it is effective, as stated by a 98% consensus from the participants that they experienced some kind of relaxation through ASMR.



[1], ASMR: Sounds That Feel Good


[3] Emma L. Barratt and Nick J. Davis, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

(ASMR): a flow-like mental state (PeerJ, 2015)

[4] Karissa Burnett, Jennifer Allen, Craig Richard, ASMR Survey (SurveyMonkey, 2014)

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