Posted on Oct 23, 2020 at 1:51 p.m.Updated Oct 23, 2020 1:58 PM

You do not dream ! In 2020, ASMR is coming to the museum… Until November 1, arkDes, the architectural museum in Stockholm, Sweden, is hosting the first world exhibition dedicated to this discipline. For the uninitiated, this barbarian acronym means in English ” Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response “. The French translation is not clearer: autonomous response of the sensory meridian. On the side of the Wikipedia page , we can read that ASMR is a distinct, pleasant sensation of tingling or chills in the skull, scalp or peripheral areas of the body, in response to a visual, auditory, olfactory or cognitive stimulus.

More generally, we are used to saying that these are pleasant whispers slipped into your ears. But then again, not everyone agrees. ” Contrary to popular belief, ASMR is not a community that whispers weird noises », Sweeps from the outset Maxence Rodier, a 24-year-old ASMR content creator, very annoyed by this shortcut. On his Youtube channel, Made In France ASMR, he whispers, stages himself, taps… His mission is to trigger the ASMR thrill of his 390,000 subscribers.

According to the definition found in the ASMR Treatise, a 128-page book published by YouTubeur in August 2020, it is a physiological reaction of the human body in response to certain triggers that stimulate your five senses. When you watch this type of video, you get a feeling of well-being thanks to stimuli, whispers, the rustling of papers, the tapping on wood, or even the crackle of a fireplace. ” The madeleine de Proust is already a kind of ASMR which recalls a childhood memory », Explains Maxence Rodier. According to him, this feeling is universal. ” It’s up to you to find the right trigger. ”

Third most searched term on Youtube

When we talk about this community born in the United States in 2008, generally, the world is divided into two parts. On the one hand, the skeptics who roll their eyes. On the other, thousands of followers who find it a source of well-being. Moreover, according to a study on Internet users’ requests, published by Youtube, in April 2020, it is the third most searched term in the world on the platform, just after BTS, the most popular Korean Kpop group that has just gone public (1st rank) and PewDiePie, a famous youtubeur (2nd rank).

Marina, 27, in reconversion, has made it a ritual. Last year, she was working in a consulting firm and preparing for competitions in parallel with her job. Every night before bed, she watched one or two videos to soothe her sleep and relieve her stress. ” I discovered ASMR by chance on Youtube, I can’t really explain how I feel, but it relaxes me », Confides this follower, herself somewhat surprised. “JI’m very rational in nature, but it does me a lot of good She smiles.

What does science say?

Today, no study provides certainties. According to a Sheffield University study , published in 2018 which is a benchmark among scientists, the researchers found that those who watched ASMR videos had, in fact, a reduction in heart rate and better relaxation. ” Stimulating the sensations of pleasure and emotional awakening releases well-being and improves concentration », Observes Renata Coura, doctor in neuroscience. And to alert: ” it is also important to understand why you need this type of palliative “.

For this specialist who has just launched Empower Center, a training center for developing interpersonal skills, ASMR is one of those alternative methods like meditation and yoga that have been around for a long time and are finding new life in of the new generation. In a rapidly changing anxiety-provoking world, ASMR becomes a balloon of oxygen.

There is an increase in burnouts. Everything is more complicated for this generation, we understand that these soothing content meet the psychological needs of certain personalities », Analyzes the expert. She associates this enthusiasm with the evolution of practices ” wellness “. Globally, the sector’s turnover is 4.5 trillion dollars and is expected to increase by 5 to 6% for the next five years, according to the Global Wellness Institute .

A real lucrative business

Several actors want their share of the pie. Barely out of his cinema studies in 2017, Maxence Rodier, who launched his channel in 2014, decided to make it his full-time job. He spends an average of 6 hours on a video and that can go up to a month on a long format. ” It’s a real job, you have to take care of the sound, the light, work on the script, feed social networks … », Specifies the videographer. For him, the next step would be to meet a producer who would allow him to make long formats for Netflix for example.

YouTubers are not talkative when it comes to salary. His remuneration varies according to the number of views. To supplement its income, its community can pay a contribution on join.me, the YouTube tips service or even Patreon, a crowdfunding platform . In return, he shares making-of or exclusive capsules.

On the other side of the Atlantic, some ASMRtists (term used to describe the creators of content specializing in this discipline) pocket sums that make you dream. Based on data from Chewsy Gum, a company that produces herbal chewing gum that conducted a study on the impact of ASMR videos: Zach Choi , an American YouTuber, earned nearly a million euros in one month. The Canadian Naomi MacRae (Hunnibee ASMR) pocketed nearly 670,000 euros in January 2020, just by eating in front of his camera, according to the study relayed on the English site The Tab , in February 2020.

Beyond the borders of YouTube

The fever also affects the marks. In 2017, the Swedish Ikea is one of the first brands to appropriate the codes of the discipline in a 25-minute video. On the program: tapping sheets, squealing quilts, scratching cushions… not to mention the price of items while whispering. In May 2018, Buffalo Grill released its ASMR steak. In the setting: we see a cook stroking the wrapping paper of the piece of meat, crumpling coarse salt between his thumb and forefinger …

Last year, the ASMR entered the big leagues and invited itself to the Super Bowl. In a 45-second video, the beer brand Michelob Ultra offers ” an experiment With Zoë Kravitz whispering, patting her fingernails on the glass bottle. ” Content creators specializing in ASMR have millions of views. Advertisers have understood the strike force of this community », Explains David Schapiro, co-founder of Boomerang, a digital content creation agency.

On the Silicon Valley side, entrepreneurs also see it as a new playground. In 2017, Tingles, an American start-up launched a mobile application that brings together nearly 200 ASMRtists. From the first few months, this ASMR Netflix registered nearly 60,000 users per month, according to an article by TechCrunch , published in 2018. The business model is close to that of Deezer or Spotify. To avoid advertisements and gain convenience, you subscribe to a subscription of 10 euros per month. Its competitors are Silk ASMR, Zees, EtasEar.

To note

A study by researchers at Swansea University found that 85% of ASMR users use it to help them fall asleep, while only 5% reported sexual arousal, according to an article by The Guardian , published in March 2020.