How Does Insight Timer Make Money — The Business Model

Insight timer is a revolutionary health and wellness app that brings the practice of meditation to the palm of your hand. It utilizes a wide array of free audio tracks incorporating guided meditation and pre-recorded talks from professional teachers to guide users through the art and music to create a soothing environment for meditation.

According to Crunchbase, Insight Timer is the brainchild of Nicho Plowman and Christopher Plowman, who bought it from the developer, Brad Fullmer, in 2015. It is the number one free meditation app globally and is currently headquartered in San Francisco, California. The program’s concept is so unique that the app has managed to bag two awards, including the App of the Day by Apple and the Editors Choice Award by Google.

So far, the app boasts of over 5,000 teachers alongside a whooping 18 million meditators, not to mention the 50,000 hours of meditation logins it attracts per day.

With a voluminous content selection, the app provides a diverse and exceptional experience to its community of users. It allows them to effectively time their meditation duration, juggle between 54 different language choices, and even seamlessly track their progress.

Owing to its community-inspired feature that allows users to meditate group-wise in real-time, it is easy to tell that the app has a bright future. The program is particularly ideal for folks struggling with anxiety, stress, sleep, or mood swings.

How it works

Insight Timer is an intuitive program designed to inspire, guide, and offer collective or personal meditation. It features simple typography, a clean layout, and bold imagery to lure users into a proper mindset for meditation.

The program can either be installed on a computer or Smartphone (Apple or Android), an aspect that heightens convenience and ease of use. To access any service on Insight Timer, you can download the app, then install it on your Smartphone or visit the Insight Timer website.

The free version grants you access to the following:

Guided Meditations: Insight Timer offers tons of guided meditations designed to impress every user. The meditations are drawn from 200 different topics, which are stratified into variety of sections. Topics are inspired by religion, culture, philosophy, science and so on. Other than the topics, the app possesses the smart search feature which enables meditators to filter their preferences based on voice of the teacher or session length.

Timer: The timer is meant for users who prefer self-led meditations. You only have to tap on the timer feature then choose the duration you intend to meditate for.  After that, you choose a meditation bell sound you like that will ring when your session is done.

Playlists: Meditations are grouped according to different topics within the playlist, allowing you to focus on a theme that you like every time you need to relax your mind.

Music: music is an integral part of meditation as it elevates relaxation. Fortunately, the app is loaded with thousands of exquisite tracks to give you the calm you need to meditate. Whether you prefer chanting noises, nature sounds, gentle instrumentals, or classical music, the program has something to match every mood.

Sleep Programs: Whether you struggle to stay asleep or fall asleep, this feature will ensure you get enough rest. This is courtesy of courses, stories, meditations, soundscapes, and music tailored to help you get a restful night. 

Courses: Insight Timer is equipped with over 400 extensive courses to promote personal growth.

Kind-Inspired Tracks: The benefits of meditation cut across all ages. To champion the meditation habit among teens and kids, the program has courses, music, yoga classes, meditations, and stories explicitly crafted to satisfy their needs.

World-Class Meditation Teachers: The program banks on respected professionals in sleep, yoga, and meditation from different walks of life to provide quality guidance. It also makes use of prominent musicians to perform and compose ambient sounds on the app.

Live Events: Insight Timer is centered on togetherness for users that like to participate in group meditations. Thus, the app has daily free live events featuring guided meditation, yoga, and insights for groups of any size.

If you opt for the Member Plus subscription, you will be entitled to more features that will get you a deep dive into the art. However, the Member Plus sub will only set you back as little as $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

Upon signing into the app, it allows you to customize your experience by selecting your preferred instructor, topics of interest as well as the type or length of your meditation sessions. On top of that, Insight Timer gives you useful stats that come in handy when keeping track of your progress.

The feature informs you of any completed milestones and the number of days you may have meditated consecutively. There is a community feature for group or collective meditation that enables you to interact with friends or join different groups.

The video below clearly illustrates how you can use Insight Timer App;

How does Insight Timer Make Money?

Unlike other applications in its class such as Calm app, Insight Timer is primarily free. However, the app still has main ways of generating revenue through its well structured business model comprising of three distinct income pillars as explained below;

Course Sales

Insight Timer allows users to buy individual courses from the app or the Insight Timer website. The courses are priced depending on the number of sessions they carry. Meditators can either choose the $29.99 course with more sessions or opt for the lesser $19.99 course.

Now that Insight Timer aims to be the leading free meditation app globally, it gives its users partial access to any of its courses. Therefore, a user may listen to the first session of a course but will have to pay for any subsequent sessions. 

Insight Timer retains 50% of the proceeds on any course-related sales. The remaining 50% of the sale is given to the musicians, spiritual teachers, or meditation experts who create the pre-recorded meditation content.

Apart from the 50/50 split from every sale, the site also deducts 3-4% from what the teachers get to account for the processing fee. 

Subscription Revenue

Insight Timer makes most of its money through subscriptions charged on the premium version of the program. The premium version includes advanced features that enable users to access all Insight Courses alongside the unique Dark Mode and Offline Mode.

A monthly subscription for the advanced version goes at $9.99, while an annual subscription will set you back a mere $59.99. Of course, the app store will deduct a little distribution fee from the subscription revenues.

The rest is split 50/50 between Insight Timer and its teachers. Meditation experts, spiritual teachers, and other key contributors receive 50% of the subscription revenue depending on how they engage with their students.

insight timer business model


With Insight Timer already impacting the world positively by spearheading the mental wellness initiative free of charge, it is only fair for satisfied customers to give back whenever possible. The donations are mainly directed towards spiritual teachers who publish meditation content on the app.

Listeners are open to offering donations from as low as $ 1.99, $ 4.99, or $ 19.99. Google Play Store and Apple App Store deduct a 30% commission or distribution fee from the donation. The remaining amount is shared between Insight Timer, which takes 20%, while the publisher pockets 80% of the earnings.

For instance, if a listener hands in a $19.99 donation, the app distributor charges 30%, which transforms to $6.00. Out of that, the app and the publisher share the remainder at $19.99. The publisher receives 80%, which is $11.20, while the program rakes in 20% of the amount, which is $2.79.

Insight Timer valuation, funding, and revenue

According to Crunchbase, Insight Timer currently boasts about $48.8 million in annual revenue per year. With about 179 employees on board, this translates to about $270,000 in revenue per employee. It is privately owned by four investors, including Evolve, Altos Ventures Capital, Jazz Venture Partners, and others.

The company received up to $27.4 m in funding as of March 2020 and has raised $27.4m over that period after two prior funding rounds. Aside from being the best at user retention in the class of wellness app, Insight Time also turns out to be one of the most profitable apps with over $48 million in revenue.

Brief Growth History of InsighTimer

Insight Timer was originally developed by Brad Fullmer in 2009 when it was formerly known as Mainstream. However, in 2015, the company changed ownership when it was sold to Nicholas and Christopher Plowman, two brothers from Australia.

Upon acquiring the company, the two brothers created a commercially conscious company, solid income for musicians and meditation teachers and making Insight Timer the best free meditation app.

The app, which is owned under Insight Network Inc, started with only 3 employees but has witnessed a significant increase to 207 as of 2021.  This is a 44% increase from the previous year. The number of employees went up during the pandemic due to the surge in active daily Insight Timer users, which ballooned to 550,000.

Surprisingly enough, the program has not spent a single cent on marketing from its inception. Instead, it relies on its exceptional free services with over 35,000 five-star ratings to put itself on the market.

Insight Timer aims to get 50 million subscribers, with over 48 million of them accessing free meditation services. As of now, the program leads in terms of the amount of time spent on meditation apps with a 63% score ahead of its main competitors, Headspace and Calm.

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Steve K

An enthusiastic human being with determination and zeal to explore new ventures. Steve is an entrepreneurial spirit searching for changes and learning to exploit them as opportunities and impacting people for good.

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