Interview with Matthew Wilson, founder of the new ASMR resource, asmrbar.com

ASMR Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response UniversityMatthew Wilson lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland and has his BSc Honors in Management and Leadership from Ulster University, Northern Ireland.

He currently works in the retail industry and launched his new website, ASMRbar.com in January 2016.

The website is a wonderful buffet of all forms of ASMR media. You can explore and experience ASMR (and ASMR-related) videos, albums, podcasts, apps, books, audiobooks, and even news.

The site also encourages artists to submit their own content and to collaborate with each other.

In my interview with Matthew he shared his interest in ASMR, his inspiration for ASMRbar.com, upcoming changes to the website, and details about his next project, ASMR Radio.

Below are my questions in bold, his replies in italics, and several links related to ASMRbar.com and ASMR Radio.

How did you become interested in ASMR?

Matthew, “My interest in ASMR started when I was 19. I was in bed and just reading online articles on my phone and one came up that read something along the lines of “That funny feeling you get in your head is real”.

After I read that, that’s when the penny dropped and I realised I wasn’t the only one who had this weird tingly sensation (my main trigger would be when telemarketers would ring and I’d just pretend to listen).

Since this I grew interested in the YouTube videos and watched them nearly every night to help me sleep and relax.”

What inspired you to create the ASMR Bar website?

Matthew, “I graduated from University last year in Management and Leadership then not long after had double jaw surgery to fix my under-bite that I hated. When in hospital I had a few rough nights as it was hard to breathe and very uncomfortable so thankfully I had my laptop with me.

On one of the harder nights ASMRtist MinxLaura123 had a live show. I watched and commented to say I was in hospital and she gave me a nice shout out. Being such a rough night it was the little things that were helping and that night she really did make me feel better. During my healing process I was off for a month and in that month ASMRbar was born.

I always grew up being very technically minded, making videos, editing websites, editing audio etc so when the idea of ASMRbar came to me it seemed like a perfect fit. I’d always wanted to create a website but never felt I had the right idea or it wasn’t the right time. I researched the current ASMR websites and noticed that there wasn’t too many and that there was definitely a space for ASMRbar and that it could be of value to a lot of people.

The website has already changed and grew to be something very different to what it started as. In the beginning it was more of an article website and I actually wrote an article dedicated to MinxLaura123 to say how her videos helped me in hospital and throughout my healing process. I wish I’d of backed it up but MinxLaura123 emailed me to say she loved it so I have that.”

How is the website organized?

Matthew, “The website is organised by type of media, making it easy to find what type of ASMR you would like to consume. On the homepage you will be greeted by ASMR videos followed by podcasts, albums, apps, books/audiobooks and ASMR news.

ASMRbar’s goal is to cater to whatever mood you’re in, whether you want a video to fall asleep to, a podcast to play while traveling or even purchasing an ASMR Album from your favorite ASMRtist. I want it to be a one stop shop for consuming all types of ASMR multimedia.”

Does the current organization and content of the website match your initial vision for the website?

Matthew, “The website has changed greatly from its initial vision. What started off as simple articles and a few reviews of videos has turned into a large catalog of content of all types. At the start I actually put in a few Mukbang videos as I saw a cross over in interest for some people, but I have settled on ASMR for now.

In my eyes the website is in a forever state of change and growth. I have new ideas for ASMRbar daily, some I can create and others would require a lot of help.”

What aspect of the website is the most popular so far?

Matthew, “The videos are unsurprisingly the most popular area of the site and receive the most hits. Second to that would be the button on the menu “ASMRtists”. This is an area that is still under construction. Ideally this would be the community part of the site where ASMRtists can communicate, easily find people to collaborate with, view YouTube tutorials on video/audio editing and communicate about the ASMR community in general.”

What are the behind-the-scenes challenges you have had with creating and maintaining the website?

Matthew, “I can be a perfectionist and impatient when it comes to new ideas. I want to create and create but I have to perfect one part of the site then move on to the next. You have to be very multi-skilled to run a website.

There are so many moving parts to the site that take up a lot of your time. One wrong character in your website code can break your WHOLE site. I’ve learnt this the hard way a few times (more times than I’d like to admit). Each time I grow a little more knowledgeable though… silver lining!”

What future changes or additions do you have planned?

Matthew, “The ASMRtist area is definitely an area that will be added whenever the details have been worked out. Slowly but surely community features will be added to the site to bring the ASMR community together in a space dedicated to them.

I have already tried many different community software packages on test sites but non-thus far have fit the bill. I will most likely run a poll on ASMRbar’s social media pages to find out which type of features are most desired. This way it will cater to what visitors want as a priority.”

What kind of feedback have you received from visitors to ASMR Bar?

Matthew, “All feedback has been great so far! I couldn’t ask for better and this is one of the reasons why I love the ASMR community so much. Of course the bigger the site gets the more critique I will receive, but I welcome constructive criticism as it only makes the website better.

When I receive the positive feedback it brings me joy because the fact that someone took the time to say nice things really means the world. When your passion is creating a web platform it can become quite lonesome, it’s just me creating it and hoping for the positive feedback. I don’t have a team to communicate with and bounce ideas off of, however, my friends and family help a lot with that.”

Given the opportunity, what would you say to a room full of researchers and clinicians whom are trying to decide if putting the time and funding into ASMR research is worth the investment?

Matthew, “Oh that’s a great question! Given the positive impact that ASMR has had on people it is completely worth time and effort to research. Something as unique and special as ASMR should be researched further to not only grow our knowledge in where it originates but so we can take greater advantage of it.

ASMR helps people with depression, anxiety and a whole host of other mental issues without the need for medication. That in itself it a powerful reason to keep ASMR research alive.

I’d personally like to know what percentage of people have it and if its related to genetics or not, which I think it is. Until then I purpose we surmise that we are all X-Men with our unique abilities.”

Are you involved with or planning any other ASMR-related projects?

Matthew, “I have actually started a new project to compliment ASMR Bar and its called ASMR Radio. Its in the early stages now but it will be a radio station with a mix of soundscapes, guided meditations, podcasts and live interviews. It will be a way for people to get instant ASMR, ASMR ASAP if you will!

I am working on the iPhone app as we speak which I am soo excited about! If people would like to know when this launches people can add @ASMRradio on twitter/facebook or go to https://asmrradio.com to get the latest on it. The website details features of the iPhone app as well as screenshots. An added bonus of the app is the chat window that is built in for when we feature live ASMRtist shows. You’ll be able to communicate with them from where ever you are, whether you be out walking the dog or on the train.

The inspiration for ASMR Radio came from wanting a way to get instant ASMR audio when I’m commuting. YouTube videos take a while to load, use a lot of mobile data and at least on my iPhone, the YouTube app must be kept open. Also I wanted to fix the huge problem that YouTube has that every person will relate to – LOUD advertisements! We all hate them right?

ASMR Radio fixes this issue and if there are any advertisements they will be softly spoken. ASMR Radio will never scare the crap out of you randomly. For that feature alone I believe it’s worth the listen and/or download.

The app will be free to download. Google ads will be added to help pay for the hosting fees, ads will not interrupt the station though. There will be the option to disable ads with an in-app purchase which goes into paying the hosting fees.

I welcome any ASMRtist or anyone who has audio tracks they would like to share on the radio. In the future I hope to allow ASMRtists the ability to do live shows and if they are interested they can get in touch with me by email: hello@asmrradio.com and I will add them to the line-up.”

Interested in checking out ASMR Bar and ASMR Radio?

Explore these links for ASMR Bar:

Explore these links for ASMR Radio:

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This post brought to you by ASMR University.  A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

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