Mindfulness and meditation app maker Headspace is coming to Netflix next year in the form of three new television shows intended to help viewers take a breath, relax and start the new year off on the right foot.
The first series, "Headspace Guide to Meditation," will premiere globally on January 1, 2021, and will teach users the foundations of meditation. Each episode will tackle a different approach to mindfulness, from stress management to improved focus and more.
Viewers will be led through each session by Headspace cofounder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe as he first teaches the guiding principles and techniques followed by a guided meditation at the end of every episode.
Each of the eight episodes of "Headspace Guide to Meditation" is 20 minutes long and includes Puddicombe’s narration, accompanying animations and soothing music. The series will be subtitled and dubbed in 30 languages.
Later in the year, Netflix will release the other two series – one called "Headspace Guide to Sleep" and the other will be an interactive viewing experience.
WHY THIS MATTERS
This partnership will expand Headspace’s reach and disseminate the benefits of mindfulness and meditation to a broader audience.
Netflix had 195.15 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the third quarter of this year, according to Statista.
Meditation has become a popular practice for its ability to positively impact the overall health of practitioners. Research has confirmed the benefits of meditation to include stress reduction, decreased anxiety and depression, pain reduction, improved memory, increased efficiency, and lower blood pressure and heart rate, according to a report published in Ayu.
These benefits are especially impactful now as people are struggling more with mental health issues as a result of the pandemic, according to a recent study from the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
The study compared people’s levels of depression, stress, anxiety, wellbeing, life satisfaction, and resilience before and during the pandemic. It found that participants had significantly worse outcomes on all mental health measures compared to those measured before.
THE LARGER TREND
On the whole, 2020 has been a big year for digital mental health tools. However, experts say that there’s still room to improve.
One issue is that many platforms lack clinical evidence to support their effectiveness. Another aspect to consider is that most apps on the market are geared towards a North American or European audience, which can create a barrier to adoption for people from other parts of the world.
Still, Headspace brought home more than $100 million in financing this year over the course of two Series C raises.
Calm, a major competitor of Headspace, also landed a $75 million Series C funding rounding round this year to expand its foothold in the employer health market. The funds brought the company’s valuation to $2 billion.