The wellness market is rapidly growing with the meditation apps acquiring a good share in it. Let’s see what their collaboration and expansion have been like.
Put on the clay mask and light up that expensive scented candle now. You can even pour some Pouilly fuissé and read this. With self care booming as an essential part of the health and wellness space, meditation is catching up the lost breath from the extensive attention hunger economy. Seen “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix? You must have raged about how social media thrives on those seconds of dopamine rush but doesn’t Netflix just give you five seconds to decide to jump to another episode or not? Attention is money and it is getting toxic for many. Meditation apps/videos/coaches are trying to somewhat fix this.
The global mindfulness meditation apps market accounted for US $ 153.6 million in 2019 and is estimated to be US$ 341.9 million by 2029 and is anticipated to register a compound annual growth rate of 8.3%. A lot of studies have reported 2019 to 2026 as the forecast period to estimate the market size for mindfulness meditation apps. These years are crucial and from an observational standpoint the graph is rising. Look around you, a lot of your friends and family might have started meditating only this year or especially during the lockdown. Interestingly there have been mixed responses on whether one would like to pay for the same or not. Let’s look at that a little later through the course of this article.
Meditation apps in the Indian ecosystem can be/are segregated in terms of operating system: Android and IOS and in terms of payment: paid or free.
We talked to a few Indians in their early 20s and 30s and the most common sources that they use for guided meditation are: Headspace app, Calm app, Cure.fit app, Youtube videos from various channels and art of living sessions. Looking at each section type precisely:
They are available both in paid and free versions. The top five apps upon doing a simple search according to Google Play Store are:
- Simple Habit: Meditation,Sleep
- Meditation Plus: music,timer,relax
- Let’s meditate: Meditate, Relax & sleep
- Sadhguru – Yoga, Meditation & Spirituality
- Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
Most teenagers use free apps or trial versions of apps for this because of the availability of free content out there that they can use. However one of the individuals who use a paid version says, “I used Headspace for two weeks and I just knew that I had to buy it. The app lets me keep streaks, whenever I cross a landmark, I am awarded and it keeps a data of the total time I meditated. That works for me as I am able to see growth and it makes me happy. They have these small clips and videos on mindfulness in the paid version, that personally I don’t mind paying for. I have a stressful schedule and anything that can keep me away from stress is perfect.”
There has been an increase in the downloads of wellness apps during the pandemic. stress from work from home is great but one cannot deny that the lockdown did give individuals a space to focus on themselves. As reported by Sensor Tower, “Downloads of Top English-Language Mental Wellness Apps Surged by 2 Million in April Amid COVID-19 Pandemic”. This number would have gone up subsequently or atleast would have been much higher than what it was in 2019. April 2020’s top performers by downloads were dominated by meditation apps, with Calm placing at No. 1 with 3.9 million downloads, Headspace at No. 2 with 1.5 million installs, and Meditopia at No. 3 with 1.4 million.
The biggest benefit that users find here is that it is hassle free. The videos are easily comparable and one doesn’t need to download anything extra. There are live 24×7 videos that you can tune in anytime. The comment box is usually very positive where people engage with each other. The apps that are listed above, most of them stream on YouTube too. One can find a wide range of spiritual gurus like Sadhguru or Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar too on the platform. A lot of people also follow Deepak Chopra and have seen quite a difference in their functioning.
Gurus or Meditation experts:
There are a lot of individual mentors too that have grown and now are actively participating in the wellness industry. With everything moving online, it has become more and more easier for experts to reach out to the audience. There were countless number of meditation sessions that took place over zoom call and Instagram Live.
Brands have started recognising this wellness trend and the 2020 lockdown was just an added cherry to this case.
Snapchat collaborated with Headspace to launch a new Headspace mini feature on the app. These are miniature apps made by third-party developers that run inside of Snapchat to create more social experiences among friends. Existing meditations on the Headspace Mini included, “Just Breathe,” “Get out of a funk,” “Kick the panic,” and “Me time.” On the account of World Mental Health Day, the company announced, “Choose Kindness” and “Take on the School Year”. As reported in its first month of being live, over 5 million Snapchat Users engaged with the Headspace Mini, showing the interest of the users to engage with mental wellness tools.
Meditation apps are not only limited to simple guided meditations now. HBO Max is hoping to build on the success of these apps with the launch of a new show, loosely built around Calm’s sleep Stories series. The cast comprise Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy, Keanu Reeves, and Kate Winslet.
“Calm started life as a meditation app but the brand has evolved far beyond that,” Calm co-founder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith said in a release. You can watch the trailer here.
These apps are expanding and are getting a lot of brands, influencers and professionals on board. They are trying their level best to expand their activities. A lot of meditators too have stated that they like to combine meditation with some journaling, physical exercise or a conscious walk/run. Take care of your mental health!