A 13-year-old girl makes $1,000 a day creating ASMR videos
ASMR, short for the autonomous sensory meridian response, is a phenomenon where certain soft whispering or tapping sounds cause a tingly sensation in some people
A new report found an overlooked aspect of the ASMR movement: An increasing number of children are making their own ASMR videos
The report highlights Makenna Kelly, a 13-year-old superstar on the ASMR scene with over 1.3 million subscribers who made a $1,000 a day, both from ads and from taking paid requests from strangers
YouTube says that keeping these child stars and their families safe is a priority
ASMR, autonomous sensory meridian response, refers to a phenomenon where soft sounds like whispering or soft tapping trigger a tingling or relaxation effect in the listener.
But, there's another side to the subculture: Kids as young as 5 years old are making their own ASMR videos - and making good money in the process. 13-year-old Makenna Kelly, who makes ASMR videos for the 1.3 million subscribers to her "Life with MaK" channel. In some of her most-viewed videos, Kelly eats instant ramen noodles or glides makeup brushes over a microphone.
Here's one of her videos, in which she "eats" a Gucci shoe:
In October it was reported that Kelly's channel brings in an estimated $1,000 a day. That puts her on a par with ASMR Darling, also known as Taylor Darling, the biggest name in the ASMR space with 2.2 million subscribers, and now reports also brings in about $1,000 a day.
Some of the money comes from YouTube advertising. However, reports say that Kelly also makes money from her channel by letting viewers pay for special requests. For example, Kelly was paid $50 over PayPal for 10-minute ASMR videos where she chewed whole pieces of honeycomb. The video attracted 12 million views.
This raises some challenges in keeping the children safe from online predators and other bad actors especially since finding these channels is a simple search for "child" and "ASMR" away. YouTube says that it's prioritizing keeping these children safe, and has even taken channels down while it talks with the families of young creators.
YouTube's child safety policy manager, Claire Lilley, told in a statement, "We believe technology presents great opportunities for young people to express themselves creatively and access useful information, but we also know we have a responsibility to protect young creators and families and consider the potential impact of emerging trends on them. We've been working with experts to update our enforcement guidelines for reviewers to remove ASMR videos featuring minors engaged in more intimate or inappropriate acts. We are working alongside experts to make sure we are protecting young creators while also allowing ASMR content that connects creators and viewers in positive ways."