'Calm' Became Top Meditation App After Apple's 2017 App of the Year Award, 'A Touchy Subject' at Rival Headspace

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    One year ago, Apple awarded the meditation app "Calm" as the iPhone app of the year, and since then the company has dethroned the previous #1 meditation app on the iOS App Store, "Headspace." In a new report by The Wall Street Journal out today, the two companies talk about how they are in a "mindful competition" with one another, and about the merits of Apple's best of the year awards system.

    Calm (left) and Headspace (right)

    Headspace predates Calm (founded in 2010 and 2012, respectively), and dominated the iOS App Store's meditation space throughout its life, until 2018. According to Calm chief product and growth officer Dun Wang, "Since winning App of the Year, we seem to have a much higher growth rate than they do, and we'll surpass them from now on."

    Since December 2017, Calm has topped the meditation category in both downloads and mobile revenue, earning $50.7 million in revenue through October 2018, compared to $34.3 million for Headspace, according to Sensor Tower data. One Headspace spokeswoman pointed out that Sensor Tower's data didn't account for subscriptions paid for through its website and corporate partnerships. Both Calm and Headspace cost $12.99/month, but differ when you upgrade to a yearly subscription: Calm is priced at $69.99/year and Headspace is priced at $94.99/year.

    Apple's award is said to be "a touchy subject" at Headspace.
    Calm co-CEO and co-founder Michael Acton Smith on the competition with Headspace:
    Calm and Headspace offer largely the same experiences, with slightly different variations on meditation. A Calm subscription grants you access to a new "Daily Calm" meditation every day, new featured Sleep Stories narrated by celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, mindful music, and a central meditation tab with dozens of classes that offer 7 to 21 days of focusing on anxiety, stress, happiness, self-esteem, and more.

    Headspace offers classes for focus, exercise, and sleep; an "Everyday Headspace" with new meditation topics each day; mini-meditations; sleep sounds; and more. Both apps have coaches that guide you through everything so that you can follow the exact steps for each meditation.

    Recently, Headspace has signed deals with more than 300 companies to integrate the app into employee health and wellness benefits, but according to a Calm investor these are just vanity partnerships: "Calm has managed to overtake Headspace because they've been laser-focused without getting distracted by the types of vanity partnerships, like with sports teams, that look good in the press but don't move the needle."

    Still, Dun Wang at Calm says that sometimes companies approached by Headspace will then contact Calm and ask if they want to put in an offer as well. "It's working out great for us. We don't need to be the ones making the cold calls to win these projects."

    Next, Headspace plans to make waves by becoming the first prescription meditation app for certain chronic illnesses, by seeking Food and Drug Administration approval. If granted, Headspace could be covered by health insurance.

    As of writing, Calm is #1 on the Health & Fitness iOS App Store chart for top free apps, while Headspace is #5. You can download Calm [Direct Link] and Headspace [Direct Link] for free from the iOS App Store.

    Article Link: 'Calm' Became Top Meditation App After Apple's 2017 App of the Year Award, 'A Touchy Subject' at Rival Headspace
  2. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030


    Mar 3, 2010
    I use both Calm and my big time favorite, 1GiantMind.
  3. Bangarang143 macrumors newbie


    Aug 23, 2016
    Sounds like a dramatic and stressful situation. I hope these CEOs get an employee discount.
  4. Mikey44 macrumors member


    Mar 6, 2012
    The math seems to be wrong on this. Also, minor thing, but you put in quotes 'Calm', but failed to do the same with 'Headspace' so it seems inconsistent. This happens in the title, as well as in the article itself.

    Minor editorial things, but thought I would point them out. :)
  5. bstpierre macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2008
    It looks like they both offer a discount for a 1 year subscription (versus monthly), but the discounts are not the same.
  6. justperry, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    You should add that it's free with inApp purchases.

    This would have been better...

    Comparatively, Calm subscriptions cost $69.99/year or $12.99/month and Headspace costs $94.99/year or $12.99/month.

    As for these apps, I have no need for these, luckily.... I am quite a relaxed person.:D
  7. ersan191 macrumors 65816

    Oct 26, 2013
    The amount of money both apps cost is outrageous for what they do - paying more than the cost of Apple Music to access a few meditation tracks, and Calm had hardly any downloads before it won app of the year. I always thought the choice was weird and completely out of left field.
  8. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
  9. tys, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    tys macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    In my opinion Insight Timer is better than either of those and it’s entirely free. I use it at least once a day!

    The developers claim it’s the most used meditation app in terms of time spent actually using the app:
    “you might be surprised to learn that when Headspace tweeted a record 186,000 hours of meditation in a single June 2017 week, our community meditated for 350,000 hours in the same week”

    I think the name is a little misleading, making it sound like it’s just a timer, but it has thousands of guided meditations.
  10. mipo macrumors newbie


    Nov 16, 2014
    Long live Ambience!!!!!! These are nothing compare to the old good Ambiance. Which was BTW featured in one of the Steve Jobs Keynotes. They lost the code and were not able to move along OS updates. Still very bititer about this so I run copy of Ambiance still on my old iphones 4 and first ipods. Still rocking on my Mojave. But anyone there care to pick this dropped glove? This is the app I am waiting for to be re-done.
  11. sabosf macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2018
    I think both of them are really good apps, but I prefer something with a little bit more substance and also more profound wisdom behind it. I've been using the Mindworks Meditation app for the last 6 months and really enjoy it. These guys offer a complete meditative path one can follow. https://mindworks.org
  12. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    I subscribed to Calm Radio (different to Calm) as it offers a very wide variety of sounds and stations. It is fantastic and trying Calm it just didn't work for me.

    Only downside of Calm Radio is they still haven't implemented offline listening (I've messaged them several times over the years) and even though the sounds loop, they keep using data. That needs fixing.
  13. groadyho, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    groadyho Suspended


    Apr 26, 2018
    My calm app I use on android is called pre98 Bubba Kush. Guaranteed to turn you into a melty remote wielding couch potato without a thought on the mind. Spirituality, red eyes and munchies are free
  14. Mr. Heckles macrumors 6502

    Mr. Heckles

    Mar 20, 2018
    Calm has a life time and they had a sale too a few weeks ago for 50% off. I like it and it has helped me a lot.

    They have free options.

    They (Insight Time) have inApp purchase also. Calm is free, but it also cost money if you want more. I personally liked Calm more and went with it.
  15. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I’d like to see Apple develop Breath a little further on AppleWatch. Mental health is just as important as physical health. The physical workout app is very well done and while the Breath app’s idea to use the Taptic Engine to guide you through breaths is fantastic, it could use some sounds and/or guided meditation via AirPods or HomePod. The Breath app should also be given a spot on the Apple Watch’s rings — perhaps a green dot in the centre.
  16. bodonnell202 macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2016
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I started using Calm a few weeks ago and I can definitely say it helped me with work stress, and I'm sleeping much better. I ended up buying a discounted annual membership during cyber week for $29.99 and I'd say it's totally worth it (About $2.50 per month or $0.08 per day is a lot cheaper than prescription sleeping pills!)
  17. groadyho Suspended


    Apr 26, 2018
    Nice! I think these apps are great. More need to connect with their inner self and open their mind even reflect. Imvho mental well being is a powerful force. We've yet to unlock the brains potential.
  18. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    I guess it's more important than ever for Headspace to remain calm.

    I'll let myself out.
  19. vidyashankara macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    We live in such weird times... You need a phone and an app to meditate and stay calm :D :D

    The buddha would probably say our species now doesn't require enlightenment...
  20. Mr. Heckles macrumors 6502

    Mr. Heckles

    Mar 20, 2018
    If you like it, next year for Black Firday look for deals. I got a life time for 50% off. I’ve been using it for a few years and it has helped me a lot too.
  21. Drogba11 macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Use Insight Timer and thank me later
  22. deebinem macrumors regular


    May 7, 2017
  23. gugy, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    gugy macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    These are cool apps but what turn me off is the subscription.
    I hate it.
    I use Dr. Joe Dispenza meditation mp3 downloads and/or eventually will look into TM. Wim Hof method is also interesting. Sorry, but I think these are way more effective but in the end any meditation is very good for you.
    I just don't want to get stuck in one more subscription model. It's getting out of hand.
  24. Constable Odo macrumors 6502

    Constable Odo

    Mar 28, 2008
    Serenity now! ... Insanity later. (taken from Seinfeld S09E03)

    Calm yourself all you want but if your frustrations are kept bottled in, one day you'll explode. Nah.
  25. princigalli macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2007
    Rome, Paris, Berlin
  26. g-hex macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2017

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