Ambient Videos | Why Are People Obsessing Over Virtual Ambiance?
Ambient Videos | Why Are People Obsessing Over Virtual Ambiance?
9 April 2024

Why People Are Obsessing Over Cozy Ambient Videos

Cozy winter ambience? Yule log crackling fireplace? Lo-fi hip hop? What do these mean? 

You may have noticed “ambient videos” popping up in your social feeds. If you’ve clicked these videos, you may have noticed that not much is happening on the screen. Maybe you see a nice house or a blazing fireplace. In the background, calm music or environmental sounds are playing. 

These are commonly referred to as “cozy ambient videos.” We’ll explain what a cozy ambient video is and how you can find them online. We’ll also be covering why they’re so popular and the different types that are out there. 

What Are Cozy Ambient Videos? 

Cozy ambient videos are non-intrusive, extremely long videos that feature a scene, image, song, and/or sound that’s relaxing. Rather than just a simple sound or video, these cozy ambient videos are intended to be more immersive to relieve your stress.

Source: Coffee Piano Jazz Music

Cozy ambient videos are sometimes related to autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). ASMR refers to the certain sounds and pitches that produce a satisfying goosebumps sensation for the listener, according to Nebraska Med. Everyone’s ears have a different response to ASMR. Some sounds, such as typing or turning paper, are particularly pleasing to one person’s ears, while crunching of gravel might appeal to another’s. Videos of people performing actions to get an ASMR response do exist! However, they’re generally not in the same category of cozy ambient videos. 

Cozy ambient videos are intended to be non-intrusive. They can be turned on in the background and endlessly play to relax the mood of a room. They don’t demand a person’s absolute attention and instead target the “vibe” or “atmosphere” of a room. 

Source: Melody Rain  

Why are they popular?

The first “real” cozy ambient video actually debuted in 1966! A New York television station broadcasted a six-minute loop of a burning fireplace called the Yule Log (Source: Business Insider). This video would eventually evolve to have the looping video of a crackling fireplace paired with calm, soft Christmas music in the background. These videos became popular, as not everyone would have access to a fireplace in their homes.

Source: Cozy Ambient Spaces 

Of course, with the advent of YouTube and other video sharing platforms, it’s become easier for people to make their own variations of ambient videos. You’ll often find people playing cozy ambient videos on their TVs while eating dinner, or serving as background music and ambience while entertaining guests. Or, you’ll see someone have a cozy ambient video with non-intrusive music playing while working on their computer. Other times, people may play a soft ambient video to help them go to sleep or reduce anxiety. 

The truth is that cozy ambient videos are so popular because of how easy they are to access and how they can be used for so many things. 

Internet users say that ambient background videos help “reduce anxiety” and “stay focused on the task they’re working on.” Other people like to pair certain activities like reading or eating with cozy ambient videos. There’s a cozy ambient video for anyone doing just about anything!

Source: Sweet Jazz Music 

What are the types of ambient videos?

Ambient videos are pretty numerous and can be searched by different keywords and categories. People generally like ambient videos featuring places that are cozy, iconic, nostalgic, or otherwise beautiful. Some different larger categories include … 

These videos are made by taking a still image and giving it small looping animations in a program like Adobe After Effects. They’re easy to make and usually the most common of the ambient videos. 

2D ambient videos involve animations that someone’s drawn or created in a digital drawing program. These 2D animations will also usually loop, but will be more personalized to the artist’s tastes. For example, the background of a 2D animated video may be completely hand-drawn. 

These are real videos taken somewhere in the world. They may be long drone footage, a camera that live streams a beautiful location, or something that was intentionally recorded (like the yule log!). These may not be as “perfect” as some of the other ambient videos, but they do feel more real. 

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. As you explore more ambient videos, take note of the different backgrounds, music, and moods that they’re focused around. 

Was there a particular vacation that you like to think about to calm down? A place that instantly makes you happy like a bookshop? A sound that you particularly like?

There’s an ambient video for just about any place. Try searching terms like: 

  • White noise ambient video
  • Jazz music ambience
  • Coffee shop ambient
  • Seaside ambient video
  • Wintery ambient scene
  • Crackling fire
  • Rainy ambience

If you’ve got a favorite place or atmosphere, there’s probably an ambient video for it!