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Calm raises $88m: should meditation be on Spotify’s audio radar?


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Spotify said yesterday that podcasts are just the ‘start’ of its ambitions to focus on all forms of audio. What next? We’d suggest that meditation / mindfulness will be high on the company’s radar – and not just because one of its first subscription-bundle partnerships was with meditation app Headspace back in 2016.

Investor interest in the space is clear: yesterday another mindfulness startup, Calm, raised an $88m funding round valuing the company at $1bn. Creative Artists Agency was one of the companies chipping in to back the startup, which says it’s currently doing $150m in annual revenues based on 40m+ downloads of its app, and more than a million paying subscribers.

Calm has a catalogue of guided-meditation tracks, as well as ‘sleep stories’ to help people nod off.

CNBC’s report on the funding round notes a study suggesting that 14% of American adults said they meditated in 2017, a percentage that will likely have increased since.

Meditation is already a genre-category on Spotify – its flagship Yoga & Meditation playlist has nearly 891,000 followers, while meditation celeb Deva Premal has nearly 370,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. But if we’re thinking about potential future acquisitions of content or technology for Spotify (and rivals) then meditation is well worth keeping in… well, keeping in mind.

Stuart Dredge

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