Meditation App Calm Can 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 hope to find that voice on TikTok. Recent company posted a video social media platform announces the next Calm Voices Contest, which will select the entrant with the softest voice to record one of Calm’s upcoming Sleep Stories. The winner will also receive $5,000.

“We were looking for TikTok’s smoothest voice,” Erik Braa, one of Calm’s current Sleep Story narrators, emphasizes in the video.

To participate, interested participants need to post a TikTok 60 seconds or less paired with Calm’s contest announcement video. In your minute-long entry, you can basically read anything out loud: “Your grocery list, your final text, or a made-up story,” Braa says. “As long as it’s original and lighthearted.”

More than 350 million people have listened to Calm’s Sleep Stories, which, according to the company, represents a huge potential opportunity for a winner. Other sleep stories on Calm’s platform have been told by celebrities like Harry Styles, Pink and LeBron James.

Like many other mental health apps, Calm experienced a massive influx of new users during the pandemic: It was the most downloaded app in the world in April 2020, with nearly four million downloads down globally that month, according to the intelligence firm Sense Tower. Calm achieved $2 billion valuation in December 2020, following a $75 million fundraising round.

More recently, the global mental health app industry as a whole – was valued at $4.2 billion last year, according to a Grand View Research report – has been criticized for not really improving the mental health of most users. A January study published in PLOS Digital Health, a healthcare research platform, found no “convincing evidence to support any cell phone-based interventions.”

But according to Calm, its sleep stories might actually work. In one October 2021 Research conducted by Jennifer Huberty, the company’s chief scientific officer, the majority of participants reported that “using Calm helped them fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep soundly.” According to the study, most of the participants struggled with a sleep disorder and nearly half had a mental health diagnosis.

Other mental health app critics have raised ethical concerns around how meditation and mental health apps share user information: A study, published in the journal Internet interventions in 2019found that less than 50% of apps targeting depression have any privacy policy.

The The privacy policy on Calm’s website states that it collects personal user information from within third-party apps and platforms. Calm did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

The Next Voice of Calm contest ends May 13, and the winners will be announced June 7, with their Sleep Story expected to be published on Calm’s app on June 7. this fall. Each participant is only allowed to submit once and must be 18 years of age or older. They must also be legal residents and live in the United States or the United Kingdom.

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