How much does cost to build an app like CALM?

16th March 2021


In the life of the modern man, stress and anxiety have pervaded in all aspects and areas from work, to home and personal relationships. And urban millennial people are going back to their roots in order to stay connected to their true selves and find peace - and what comes at the top of that list is yoga and meditation.

One technological aid that has really helped these people access accredited resources is mindfulness apps, which have grown extremely popular in a short span of time, especially in the pandemic. The meditation market in the USA was worth $1.21 billion in 2017, and based on current growth trends, it is expected to reach $2.08 billion by 2022In this article, we’ll be discussinghow much does it cost to build an app for meditation and mind health. The industry leader in terms of global downloads and revenue is Calm application, so we’ll be taking that as a reference for features and functionality - and then we’ll talk about how much does it cost to build a calm app?


started as a simple library of relaxing natural sounds and compilations of guided meditation videos and it has now become a multimillion-dollar influencer lifestyle brand. 

While determining the cost of making a calm app, it’s very important to establish the kind of features and functionality that you can center your app around.

We have listed down the mainstream meditation app features that any user expects. These features will help you engage and retain your calm mindfulness app users on a long term basis -

  • Sign up or registration
  • Log in email and password 
  • Guided meditation
  • Daily calm app sleep stories
  • Beginner’s program for learning mindfulness
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Natural sounds for backdrop 
  • Thought of the day
  • Scene meditation
  • Audio and video guides library and playback 
  • Progress tracking chart 
  • Mark as favorite or save to library option 
  • Concentration building and focus exercises 
  • In-app purchases 
  • Push notifications 
  • Calm app customer service

Advanced functionality and points of improvement 

Now, let’s talk about some features that are still rarefied in the mindfulness app market and can influence the cost of calm app. These features are not offered by a lot of companies and therefore, they can turn out to be your USP or a differentiation strategy that makes the user keep coming back to you and not wander in the app store looking for a mindfulness app with better and more modern execution.

  • Compatible artificial intelligence trainer or instructor - if you add an AI-based analytics system in the admin of your calm meditation app, you can get deep insights into the user behavior on the app and based on that, your AI trainer can suggest the best personalized and customized advice to your user through chat API. You can even create one or multiple avatars for the AI trainer that can help build interaction and engagement. 
  • Deep analysis panel or dashboard - you can use analytics to figure your success in breaking even and then profiting from the investment in the cost of creating a calm app. Deep analytics help you determine the number of downloads, geographic and demographic propensities of users, metric reports on the time spent on the screen v/s the time spent on meditation app, etc. You can also use these metrics in order to build new product lines and enhance your features in a way that deeply impacts the users’ lives
  • Integration with external wearable devices - this feature is expensive and will make your cost to build a calm app go a little higher than average, depending on your app development agency. However, it is crucial to note that in today’s day and age, wearable technology is leading the market. According to ccs Insight, there was a massive sale of wearable units - about 245 million units only in 2019. The wearable market which is currently valued at $25 billion, is expected to grow by 4.8% in the coming four years. So the chances of users downloading a calm app hike multifold when it is associated to and supported by their portable device. 
  • Unique and custom set of features - Note that in a heavily competitive environment, your calm app cost will only pay off in the longer run if you create a peculiar set of offerings in terms of UI and functionality that is not just assuredly engaging but also unprecedented and unique in its own way. It is only then that you will be truly able to retain your hard-earned customers.


CALM has been made available to users in two formats

  • Calm app for android, available on Google Play Store, and
  • Calm app for iOS, available on Apple’s App Store

More than 10 million people have downloaded the calm app from the Play Store and have a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on the App Store, based on the reviews of 1.1 million users. 

It has not only been given the App of the Year award by Apple in 2017 but was also given the title of “Happiest App in the World” by the Center for Humane Technology.

How does an app like this make money 

Almost all apps in the mindfulness marketplace work on a freemium model, which means that they offer their service for free but have a special premium plan that the users can subscribe to for more advanced features and uninterrupted and ad-free services. Here is a list of their key resources through which they make money -

  • Subscription - in order to avail the premium features, a user has to get the membership which costs $69.99 a year or $14.99 a month. Users can also avail the lifetime membership for Calm for $399. 99.
  • Brand partnerships - this includes calm app teachers and sponsors who sign partnership for mutual industry growth.
  • Third-party ads - Calm leverages its engagement and customer base to third parties who bid to place ads on the app. 
  • In-app purchases - this was something that helped the creators to break-even the average cost to make a calm app in the very beginning. Through special features like offline maps, etc. they really attracted the market like nobody else in their mindfulness peer.  

Since its launch in 2012, Calm has constantly been updating its features in order to become the most popular mindfulness app - or as they like to call it, “Nike for the mind.”

Final Word 

Based on the features we discussed, the average cost to develop a calm app in the USA is close to $28000-33000. You can actually alter how much does it cost to develop a calm app based on the specs, size of your development team, and tech stack. You can focus on a lot of functionality based on the lifestyle of your users - you can even extend the product line within the app to offer other resources like habit-breaking exercises and memory-building exercises. Some apps even have relationship tabs in the interface and give the user an open and non-judgmental space to work on their personal and professional relationships. The market is huge and only vaguely segmented - and that’s the right opportunity that every envisioned entrepreneur is looking for!

At Valere Labs LLC, we have built a quick tool to calculate the approximate cost for developing mobile apps. This tool comes in handy when you want to understand the money needed to bring your idea to execution. 



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Tyler Slater

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