Meditation apps are migrating to streaming platforms, bringing a dose of mindfulness to the entertainment industry.
The business of mindfulness has skyrocketed during the pandemic—Calm’s valuation hit $2 billion in December 2020 after its latest round of funding, and Headspace raised an additional $100 million in 2020. As the demand for mindfulness resources rises, the entertainment industry is enhancing the practice of selfcare with unique, immersive experiences.
Netflix is presenting an antidote to binge-watching. On January 1, 2021, the streaming giant premiered Headspace Guide to Meditation, a new animated series that offers guided meditations and mindfulness techniques, and teaches viewers about the benefits of daily practice. “There’s opportunity to be mindful in any part of our day,” Andy Puddicombe, cofounder of meditation app Headspace, told Vulture. “So our hope is by presenting this series in this way, it’s more than just meditation; it’s, ‘How do we be mindful in every area of our life?’”
The show is the latest in a slate of mindful consumption offerings sweeping the entertainment industry. In October 2020, HBO Max and mindfulness app Calm partnered to launch A World of Calm, which the platform describes as “a timely antidote for our modern lives.” The 30-minute episodes feature relaxing tales narrated by celebrities, including Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba, Keanu Reeves, Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet, and are “designed to transform your feelings through enchanting music, scientifically engineered narratives, and astounding footage.”
Disney also wants to help audiences find calm. In May 2020, the company launched Zenimation on Disney+. The series takes clips from classic Disney animations, such as The Lion King, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and Frozen, and overlays them with calming audio for “for a moment of mindfulness,” the brand says. The “animated soundscape experience” includes the noise of ocean waves and soft rushing air to help “unplug, relax and refresh your senses.”
As consumers become more aware of the curative potential of content, expect to see a continued rise in enlightened entertainment.
Main image of Headspace Guide to Meditation on Netflix courtesy of YouTube