Calm meditation app could pay you $5,000 for 60 seconds of work

Calm, a meditation and wellness company, is looking for a voice that puts people to sleep.

And he hopes to find that voice on TikTok. The company recently posted a video on the social media platform announcing its upcoming Voice of Calm contest, which will select the entrant with the most soothing voice to record one of Calm’s upcoming Sleep Stories. The winner will also receive $5,000.

“We’re looking for the sweetest voice on TikTok,” Erik Braa, one of Calm’s current Sleep Story narrators, says in the video.

To enter, interested entrants must post a 60-second or shorter TikTok stitched to Calm’s contest announcement video. In your one-minute entry, you can read virtually anything aloud: “A shopping list, your latest text, or a made-up story,” Braa says. “As long as it’s original and so soothing.”

According to the company, over 350 million people have listened to Calm’s Sleep Stories, making it a potentially huge opportunity for the winner. Other sleep stories on Calm’s platform have come from celebrities like Harry Styles, Pink, and LeBron James.

Like many mental health apps, Calm has seen an influx of new users during the pandemic: it was the world’s most downloaded app in April 2020, with nearly four million downloads worldwide that month. according to intelligence firm Sensory Tower. Calm hit a $2 billion valuation in December 2020, following a $75 million fundraise.

More recently, the global mental health apps industry as a whole – which was valued at $4.2 billion last year, according to a report by Grand View Research – has come under fire for not actually improving well- mental being of most users. A study published in January in PLOS Digital Health, a healthcare research platform, found there was no “compelling evidence to support a cellphone-based intervention.”

But according to Calm, his sleep stories might actually work. In an October 2021 study Led by Jennifer Huberty, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, a majority of participants said “using Calm helped them fall asleep, stay asleep, and experience restful sleep.” Most of those participants suffered from sleep disturbances and almost half had a mental health diagnosis, according to the study.

Other mental health app critics have raised ethical concerns about how mental health and meditation apps share user information: One study, published in the journal Internet Interventions in 2019, found that less 50% of apps targeting depression had a privacy policy.

Calm’s website privacy policy states that it collects personal information about users from its app and third-party platforms. Calm did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

The next Voice of Calm contest ends on May 13 and the winner will be announced on June 7. Her sleep story is expected to be posted on the Calm app this fall. Entrants are only allowed one submission each and must be at least 18 years of age. They must also be legal residents and live in the US or UK.

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