ASMR videos are a popular, if rather niche, genre of content on YouTube. They're specifically designed to provoke the ASMR responsenote in the viewer by incorporating a wide variety of what are referred to as trigger sounds, with some of the most popular being sounds of crinkling, tapping, scratching, sizzling, or even eating; whispering or speaking softly; and roleplaying scenarios.
Creators from across the world post videos covering a wide variety of topics while featuring tons of ASMR triggers, and many channels exist specifically to cater to ASMR fans. Some people have also discovered that media outside the ASMR community can give the same reaction and have made videos documenting this; The Joy of Painting is one well-known example due to Bob Ross' baritone voice and soft, soothing manner of speech. The genre does have its detractors. Many people accidentally come across the videos and mistake them for simply weird internet videos, others may be looking for information about a particular topic but come across people whispering too low to understand the topic, and many people simply find the concept creepy and/or are put off by the ASMR response.
Often used interchangeably with ASMR is "mukbang." Mukbang is a form of video where someone films themselves eating food (usually in large quantities) while talking to their viewers, either in a live-stream format or Fake Interactivity format. The trend began in South Korea but spread to other parts of the internet as well. Mukbang is not the same as ASMR, but many people find they feel tingles while watching mukbang due to them involving similar triggers as ASMR videos. Mukbang videos have been criticised for encouraging unhealthy binge eating but they are still popular nevertheless.
ASMR video creators with pages on the wiki:
- Ephemeral Rift
- Virtual Barber Shop by Listening Point
- Miss Shadow Lovely
- Cyberpunk ASMR by YouTube user EpicASMR
ASMR videos provide examples of:
- Alien Abduction: This is a popular subgenre, but is not as popular as other roleplays such as doctor visits.
- Ear Cleaning: Both the traditional Japanese manner and more modern versions have been fodder for ASMR videos.
- Cool Big Sis: Some videos roleplay scenarios in which an older sibling does something caring for the viewer, such as "Big Sister Does Your Makeup".
- Cosplay: Artists may dress up and act as a character from an existing work or their own character for roleplays.
- Extreme Close-Up: Many videos use camera angles that zoom in on the artist's hands or face, to simulate being close enough to be touched. The artist will also often lean in very close to the camera, sometimes as part of a roleplay, other times to whisper into the microphone(s).
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: ...and Russian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, etc.
- Fake Interactivity: It is standard in the genre for the "performer" to ask questions to the viewer. Of course the "performer" never can hear any answers the viewer would give, but it gives the viewer the feeling they are communicating with the "performer".
- Fanservice: Some ASMR creators will make videos showing themselves in swimsuits, low-cut and/or midriff-baring shirts, and the like, usually as part of a scenario such as being on the beach or showing off a clothing haul.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Cooking, cleaning, folding towels...as long as the trigger is there, people will watch it.
- Narrator: Some ASMR videos feature a scripted off-screen narration accompanying what the creator is doing on-screen. The aforementioned clothing haul videos are one particular instance of this.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: Many ASMR performers are on a budget so they use household items, their personal property, and/or props that you could find at a "dollar store". Anything goes as long as it can provide the desired triggers.
- You Taste Delicious: ASMR creators that emphasize what are generally called "wet mouth sounds" will do things such as making "ear eating" and kissing sounds into the microphone.
- Paranatural: On chapter 5, page 170, Isabel snoops on a teacher's computer. One of the tabs on the open web browser is titled "10 Hour Goth Barber ASMR".
- RWBY Chibi: One of the shorts is Jaune trying to record an ASMR video (an Actor Allusion as well because Jaune's VA records them), only to be constantly interrupted by other Hunters loudly barging into his room.
- Mental Floss has an article on Bob Ross and the ASMR Periphery Demographic: How Bob Ross Became an ASMR YouTube Star.