Meditation apps and streaming services have been booming of late, with people locked down and stressed out during the coronavirus pandemic, so the next logical step was for meditation apps to launch streaming shows. Calm launched A World of Calm on HBO Max in October, and Headspace has just announced a three-series deal with Netflix that kicks off next month with the Headspace Guide to Meditation.
Anyone who’s used Headspace will recognize the voice of co-founder Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk who advises you to “be kind to your mind.” The first series of eight episodes launches January 1st and will teach the benefits of the practice and provide guided meditations. The Headspace Guide to Sleep and an interactive experience will come later in 2021. (Disclosure: the Headspace Netflix series is produced by Vox Media, parent company of The Verge.)
Headspace has made its content free for a variety of audiences during the pandemic, providing premium subscription content to health care providers and a landing page for New Yorkers.
Helping people relax their brains has been big business during the pandemic, with downloads for Calm and Headspace surging. Earlier this week, Calm raised a new round of funding, putting the company’s valuation around $2 billion.
The Calm series features episodes “designed to transform your feelings through enchanting music, scientifically engineered narratives, and astounding footage,” with voiceovers from celebrities like Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba, Keanu Reeves, Nicole Kidman, and Kate Winslet.
The Headspace show will feature 20-minute sessions, with Puddicombe’s voice guiding listeners through different mindfulness techniques to focus on things like sleep and stress with animations and music. It will be subtitled and dubbed in 30 languages.
Just look how calm that little yellow blob creature looks in the trailer.