Headspace vs. Calm: A Mindful Competition
By 2021, the mindfulness app wars reached their apex. Over 2,000 meditation apps were available to consumers, but two apps, Headspace and Calm, dominated the space, jointly holding about 70% of the total market. Headspace had established itself as the approachable educator for novice meditators. Headspace also invested heavily in athletics partnerships, business-to-business services, and in creating Headspace Health, which they hoped would gain FDA approval and become the first prescription meditation app. Meanwhile, Calm had earned a reputation as the soothing sleep app. Calm was also known for its numerous partnerships with A-list celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, Harry Styles, and Idris Elba. Indeed, Calm was focused on becoming the leader in "calmtainment" and making a home for itself in Hollywood. What does the future hold for the rivalry between Calm and Headspace? Will both brands continue to co-dominate the mindfulness and meditation space or will one ultimately prevail? What should the brands do to maintain their co-dominance or edge out the other and claim the number one spot?