Let’s conduct an experiment. Pull up your favorite ASMRtist and look at their videos. Find one where they’re doing your makeup, or showing you perfumes, or even when they’re eating or cooking something up. Once you’re done there, count all the times in Gentlewhispering’s famous makeup video where she could have dropped the name of a product and made it look casual enough that you never notice. Look at this one, where Amalzd is showing you perfumes you might like to buy, and count the times she could have made a chunk of change for showing off a new perfume that she got.
You see my point. While ASMR, in terms of subscriber count, is tiny compared to the likes of PewDiePie or Smosh, I still cannot help but see the market that ASMRtists have a near constant exposure to. While YouTube did away with the demographic charts for videos some time ago, it is a pretty safe bet to say that ASMR’s demographic is roughly around 18-35. Breaking down the gender of the viewers, however, gets a little tricky. If we want hard numbers across hundreds of accounts, those are a bit tough to come by. But, looking at stats on the Channelpages’ for ASMR Sadie, Caroline ASMR, Brittany ASMR, Boxtopia ASMR, and Tony Bomboni (Asmrer), we can begin to sniff out at least a window into what ASMR’s demographics look like.
|ASMR Sadie||BoxTopia ASMR||Brittany ASMR||Caroline ASMR||Tony B. (Asmrer)||Averages|
|Total Male % (by ASMRtist)||76.7%||49.9%||69.8%||67.7%||49.9%||62.86%|
|Total Female % (by ASMRtist)||23.3%||47.6%||30.2%||32.2%||50.2%||37.14%|
ASMRtists such as Sadie, Caroline and Brittany have gender demographics that skew towards men. Sadie is the highest at 76.7% men and 23.3% women. Brittany clocks in at 69.8% men and 30% women. Caroline rolls at 67.7% men and 32.2% women. Meanwhile, Boxtopia is skewed almost perfectly even towards both women and men at 50% and 49.9%. Tony Bomboni has similar numbers at 50.2% for women and 49.9% for men. Overall, this gives us demographics of 62.8% men and 37.14% for women. In regards to age, ChannelPages seems to verify my theory at least somewhat. softlygaloshes, the founder of ASMRYouReady, was happy to provide me with a screencap of her analytics. I was not able to get exact numbers, which is why I did not include it in the above chart, but instead down below.
Regardless, there are still some details we can see. The male/female ratio is highly skewed towards males at 75% and with women at 25%. Adding these numbers to our overall totals, we get final results of 64.8% and 34.2%. The above statistics also prove that ASMR’s largest audience, bar none, is the 18-35 demographic. To advertisers, especially those in television, this group is the golden tamale, their Key Demographic. This is the age group with more disposable income and less brand loyalty.
Aside from the obvious beauty products, cosmetics, perfumes, clothes, jewelry, and razors, what else could ASMRtists sell? Video games, movies, television and books. Pop culture is ASMR’s goldmine. Check out this Skyrim roleplay, and this one based off the Agent’s of SHIELD television series. Now imagine that money from both of those companies at their back.
It sounds pie-in-the-sky right now, something so far off from now that we shouldn’t have to think about right? The money would be great, and it could prove a vital step in allowing ASMRtists to do ASMR full time. But I have to ask: Would this be the right thing to do? The idea of ASMRtists taking money from companies large and small to push products opens up a wasp’s nest of issues. Should ASMRtists sponsor products they themselves do not use? What would happen if an ASMRtist promoted a product that later ended up harming people? Will the community consider an ASMRtist genuine if they begin to do sponsored videos based around a certain product? How would the first video that begins or ends with ‘This video was brought to you by…’ impact the community?
ASMRtists and their viewers are in a symbiotic, and sometimes very dependent relationship. We’ve all heard the stories of viewers using ASMR to help them sleep, to help them get out of the rut depression dumps them in. Anxiety, sadness, insomnia, loneliness, you name it, someone listens to ASMR to at least numb those pains for a little while. We listen to ASMR because it comforts us, because we love to listen to someone who cares. Could that relationship be tarnished by purposeful advertising? For some people, that is a very loud yes, and it’s inevitable. I know for a fact some of you reading this already grind your teeth at the thought of YouTube putting ads at the ends of videos. I can only imagine the blood-vessel bursting backlash if an ASMRtist openly stated they were sponsored to do a video. But would it be bad for every video? Dress haul videos are just begging to be sponsored by companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Vince Camuto, Nine West or Calvin Klein? It’d be perfect timing, considering Amazon is having a Spring dress sale as of the writing of this article. Hell, in the video I just linked to, it included the company they bought the dresses from right in the title, the ASMRtist even admits to being given the dresses. It’s already happening folks, and it’s not going to stop. On a positive note, imagine the recognition ASMR could get. ASMRtists make videos for video games, dress companies, movie studios and cosmetic companies contribute to the campaigns for those products. ASMR, therefore has potential to be exposed to an audience dozens of times larger than it has now.
Advertising, with all its consumerist, materialist and corporate-trained demons, could benefit ASMRtists by offering a potential source of financial capital. As ASMR grows, major companies could begin to tap ASMRtists to reach out to the audience ASMR commands. It comes with risks. It could lead to a divided viewership, an ASMRtists reputation being tarnished as a sellout or a shill. The genuineness that permeates a lot of the interactions we have with ASMR stands to be diminished. On the flip side, we have ASMRtists being paid to do videos, and more importantly, we have recognition. Imagine an ASMR video that gets attached to a global advertising campaign. It might be a small part of it overall, but it is still attached to a big name company, to a big name product that will boost ASMR’s reputation in the eyes of many. To some, with the prize of more viewers, subscribers and even more money on the horizon, why not do this?