Bob Ross sitting in front of a canvas painting during an episode of "The Joy Of Painting." YouTube

  • Calm.com licensed the audio stream of “The Joy of Painting” to help you fall asleep.
  • While it’s not a Bob Ross app, it’s the only legitimate way to listen to Ross while you doze off.
  • The Calm app will eventually bring more Bob Ross audio should this first phase prove successful.


Calm.com – which created the popular Android app Calm which is geared towards relaxing and meditation – just announced a new app feature called Sleep Stories, via The New York Times. Using the app, insomniacs can listen to soothing narratives to help lull them to sleep.

And who will be narrating these Sleep Stories? Why none other than the late painter Bob Ross.

If you’re wondering how Calm.com brought Mr. Ross back from his death in 1995, they didn’t: they simply took the audio stream from episodes of Ross’ “The Joy of Painting” and put them into the app. Now insomniacs can use the Calm app instead of opening a YouTube video or trying to find an unlicensed audio-only stream.

You don’t have to worry about any legal shenanigans, because Calm.com officially licensed Ross’ voice for the app with full support from the Bob Ross estate.

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Joan Kowalski, the president of Bob Ross Inc., oversees licensing of the artist’s brand name. When Calm.com approached her about the idea, she said, “We asked ourselves, ‘What would Bob do?’ Using his voice to help put people to sleep? Well, he would love that.”

Bob Ross started the cult TV classic “The Joy of Painting” where he sits at a canvas and creates a painting in about 30 minutes. During his painting, he converses with the audience in his soothing voice, which for decades has put people right to sleep.

Ross did the show for free but made millions from licensing his name to painting products. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Ross would have been happy to license his voice to Calm.com.

Who doesn't fall asleep while Ross goes on about happy little trees?

Ross himself loved the idea that people watched his show in order to fall asleep. When asked about the trend in 1990, he said that the audience watches the show “strictly for entertainment value or for relaxation. We’ve gotten letters from people who say they sleep better when the show is on.”

Calm.com says that the current set of Bob Ross Sleep Stories is just phase one, with more additions to the collection on the way, should it prove successful. Since Calm.com is essentially monetizing a habit that people the world over already have – listening to Mr. Ross to help them fall asleep – it’s pretty much a no-brainer that the feature will be a success.

Granted, if you don’t want to use the Calm app, you can always stick to YouTube videos, assuming you pay for a premium level of YouTube where you can play the audio with the screen off.

Click the button below to download the Calm app and fall asleep while Bob Ross tells you about his happy little trees.

This comes from our sister site, dgit Daily. Over there we offer all the latest updates from accross the techiverse.

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