I will admit that I am a little late in discovering the ASMR scene. It has been a growing trend for a few years now, but I still see a lot of untapped potential in it as a profitable niche and business opportunity, both for performers and marketing.
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
It is a term to describe that tingling sensation that goes down your spine and gives you goosebumps whenever you hear a whisper, a crinkling noise, the sound of fingernails tapping, breathing in your ear, etc. It’s like an auditory gentle caress or a brain orgasm. Some people feel it, some people don’t, but if you do feel it, you will know exactly what I am talking about.
There has been a growing trend in ASMR videos and audio recordings online as well as a very supportive social scene that surrounds it. Search YouTube for ASMR recording and you’ll find a ton of them. The performers who create the audio and videos, ASMRtists or Whisperers, as they call themselves, create specialized recordings on request by their fans, also known as tingleheads.
(GentleWhispering, one of the more popular ASMRtists, is featured in the video above.)
These recordings tend to feature a lot of role-play, much of which is focussed on themes such as head and scalp massage, haircuts, facial and skin examinations. Some swing towards fantasy and includes a lot of post hypnotic suggestion, positive affirmation and relaxation themes.
In some videos the performers discuss normal, every day topics in whisper like voices. In other videos, they explore everyday items that cause ASMR like trigger reactions (or triggers) such as crinkling paper or fabric, the sound of a brush or comb, blowing air through certain items, or just describing the scent of certain relaxing items such as candles, beauty products and lotions.
Many artists confess that they do what they do because they just enjoy helping people relax. Others take a more business like focus.
What makes a good ASMRtist?
A good ASMRtist should ideally be a tinglehead themselves in order to understand the triggers. They should be part audio/video expert, part role-play actor/actress, part massage therapist and part hypnotist. Being able to create an engaging, relaxing, 3D surround sound trigger experience is crucial.
What’s the Profit potential?
Promoting ASMR still is in need of 3 key aspects:
1. Awareness and Information – I think there are a lot of people who are susceptible to ASMR-like triggers and experiences, but maybe aren’t aware yet of what it is or it’s availability. There should be much more focus on awareness and educating people on what it is. This should ideally be done in a non creepy, wellness type approach. These recordings tend to feel somewhat intimate, so promotion as an alignment with massage therapy or relaxation would a good approach to get the farthest reach and impact.
2. Personalization & Specialization – The need for personalized and specialized experiences, customized to the unique needs of the users.
I can imagine that there is a large base of affluent customers, people who spend a lot of time stressed out and sitting on long flights with headphones on, and would be happy to have their own personal ASMRtist to help them relax. A decent ASMRtist could charge top dollar for creating custom recordings or doing one-on-one chat sessions.
There is a big trend right now in invisible content. This being, audio recordings and stories that can be consumed in public on mobile devices with headphones or stories on Kindle, without the surrounding people being aware of it. It can be consumed on a plane, in traffic or at work, which explains the big trend in erotic stories being purchased on kindle.
3. Convenience – Creating easy to find, easy to access, downloadable products and services are still in need and in high demand.
Doing a few basic searches revealed actually very little ASMR content for sale, which was surprising. There is a little bit on iTunes and some downloads on Niteflirt and Clips4Sale which use ASMR as a keyword, but there seems to be very little of it that is of any quality, at least from what I could quickly find.
A simple online store with basic keyworded SEO that offers audio downloads would be very successful, because again, the competition seems fairly low and the demand, fairly high.
There is a decent split of male and female customers who consume ASMR content. Most of the existing themes tend to be very female focussed (haircuts, facials, scalp inspections) so I would assume there is more female than male, but I could be wrong.
Sexing it Up!
For the males especially, ASMR sensations do, however, teeter on a very thin line of being sexual. On the safe side, an erotic performer could use their seductive skills to branch out into the mainstream world and create relaxation videos. Since the theme of the content is non erotic, using mainstream marketing and sales tools such as Paypal and Gumroad should be no problem and very easy to set up.
On the flip side, there are very few erotic ASMR recordings and a TON of demand, so sexing it up and doing recordings that stray to the naughty side would also be very popular.
If you sell audio/video equipment, catering to ASMRtists and providing instructions, consulting and specialized equipment could be an interesting niche to address. To do ASMR right, the artist needs sound isolation, surround sound and shotgun mics, recording software and video editing equipment. To consume the content, specialized headgear and headphones, especially that are comfortable to wear while trying to sleep, seem to offer a lot of opportunity as well.
For companies who sell relaxation, health and beauty care products, you should listen up. A customer who is listening to ASMR recordings are in a relaxed, semi hypnotic suggestive state and are in the prime position for having certain products suggested to them.
Hiring a good ASMRtist to make product suggestions or product placement in videos could do wonders for sales. Not to mention that decent ASMR videos get TONS of traffic from an affluent customer base, so you should really put some thought into sponsoring a few ASMRtists and exploring the niche.
For those of you already involved in the SMR scene, I have also not seen all that many online communities. There are a few, but not as many as I had anticipated. There is plenty of potential for ASMR related websites, especially ones that offer both discussion and sales.
To sum it all up, I see a prime opportunity to create content and products that caters to a very hungry targeted customer base of people who will always have the need for things that help them relax. There is a lot of demand and not much competition, so jump on it!
Are you involved in the ASMR scene? If so let me know your experiences. I would love to learn more.