Ever wonder why you “waste” time watching blackhead acne removal for almost an hour, a food hawker setting up shop and preparing food before a busy day, or someone kneading dough? Don’t worry. You’re not a weirdo but one of the viewers ofYouTube who are setting a new trend.
These videos are a growing global trend known as ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and strike a chord with the public because they have a psychological emotional effect, said Tharinya Yongvanichakorn, Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube Thailand during the recent iCreator Conference 2022.
Like a famous quote by Bertrand Russell which goes: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted”, the ASMR videos give people pleasure and bring them calm. The acne removal videos are a good example. Their content is simply a close-up of the removal of blackhead acne without any text or dialogue. Some have more than 15 million views.
Foodies worldwide also love watching a food stall being prepared in South Korea. For instance, HiFoodie channel has a lot of videos on YouTube that are over one hour long, each showing the viewer each step at an almost meditative pace, most getting over 3-4 million views.
There are tonnes of them and if you search ASMR on YouTube, chances that you’ll get to a video of someone giving a cat massage, a spa experience, a compilation of “soothing” sounds such as eating, typing, page turning; or perhaps a home-cooked meal eating show; a sleep-to-step upcycling of a vintage brand name bag into a new one and mass production of bread or cake.
The statistics from YouTube, says Tharinya, show that 83% of Gen-Z watch ASMR videos. “They watch them for pleasure and 69% will re-watch the videos that satisfy them. They also follow the channels and watch other videos too.”
These videos have no dialogue yet are addictive, with viewers spending hours watching. Lately, YouTube found the majority of viewers have those videos on as companions while multi-tasking, rather than having the radio of TV on while doing something else.
The ASMR videos grew dramatically in 2020-2022 during the COVID outbreak. A lot of new creators jumped on the bandwagon and it did not take long for these new YouTubers to become popular. “People just want something to help get rid of their stress,” said Tharinya.
Interestingly enough, when we talk about a trend, what we love to watch becomes clearer. It may sound vague but it is a fact. “People know what interests and fulfills them. They don’t care about format, length, music, words or any technicality,” she said.
So to the YouTubers out there, you do what you do best and what suits your ability and the viewers will find you no matter how niche your content is. For us, the viewers, give your favourite content creators your support so that they are around to give you viewing satisfaction.
By Veena Thoopkrajae