Meditation: One of Silicon Valley’s favorite ways to unwind after building platforms with major data breaches or running ads on videos promoting AIDS-denialist content.
Now, one of the most popular meditation apps, Headspace, is letting members log into their accounts and link it to Alexa and Google Assistant so they can keep meditating from where they left off on their phone.
“The purpose of this is to meet our members where they are in real life,” said Ross Hoffman, chief business officer at Headspace. “Voice is a new medium that’s growing, and we’re betting on that to continue to grow.”
It’s not the first time Headspace content is coming to either voice platform, but linking accounts is part of the company’s strategy of meeting its users “where they are.” Adding more meditation content is a winning strategy for both Amazon, Google and Headspace, as Hoffman shared that Amazon and Google found that people were asking for meditation content via voice search.
Meditation sleep content on the app includes developing techniques, like visualization to imagine a place a user enjoys, to help them go to sleep.
A spokesperson for Google clarified that when a user asks for meditation content, Google Assistant will show a list of different actions they can take, one of which includes using Headspace. However, the spokesperson said it’s also possible that users searching for Headspace content simply forgot the command for it. An Amazon spokesperson stated that users can say either “Alexa, help me relax” or “Alexa, help me meditate,” and Alexa will suggest meditation skills.
The meditation content on both platforms appears to be a winning strategy for Headspace. Hoffman said 90 percent of users on voice are coming back for another session, adding that it took Headspace two months to get the same number of monthly active users on voice versus the 40 months it took on mobile when the company first came into business. (Headspace declined to share what the user number is but stated that the company has 30 million users overall and 1 million paying users.) The company said it’s also seeing a 12.5 percent engagement lift for users who use Headspace on voice and mobile versus people who just use their phone.
Hoffman sees the voice expansion as vital to Headspace meeting its members wherever they are—with whatever device they might be using.
“Our goal is to make sure we’re bringing you the best experience possible,” Hoffman said. “To give you the opportunity to value that product.”
Consumers can access the content by either saying “Alexa, open Headspace” or “OK Google, talk to Headspace.” The update also includes more sleep meditation content, as well as a new meditation everyday for both free and paying members. On the mobile app, free users are limited to only three daily meditations before being promoted to subscribe and don’t receive any sleep content.