Arts & Leisure

Pinoys listen to ‘phenomenal’ amount of music -- Spotify

Posted on April 04, 2017

SINCE Spotify’s entry into the market in 2014, the Philippines has been one of the strongest markets for the music streaming service -- it is currently one of the biggest markets in the Asia Pacific region according to an executive -- and due to the Filipinos’ love of music, the brand has introduced a new playlist for people to discover local and regional talents.

Spotify’s new Pinoy-centric playlist, “Early Noise 2017,” is filled with “rising stars that Spotify is tipping to make waves in Asia and beyond this year.”
“Over the past 12 months (January to December 2016) Filipinos have streamed at least 30 billion minutes,” said Sunita Kaur, managing director of Spotify Asia during an event on March 8 at the Apt. 27 Bat+Café in Bonifacio Global City.

Ms. Kaur described the Philippine market’s increase in subscribers as “tremendous” and the amount of music listened to by their users “phenomenal.”

According to its most recent data, two in five Filipinos with Internet access are streaming on the service. Globally, the Stockholm-based service has 100 million active subscribers (as of June 2016), 50 million of whom are paying subscribers (as of September 2016).

On average, Filipinos spend 154 minutes per day on the app, with peak times between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m, or when Filipinos “are wrapping up their work day,” said Benjamin Chelliah, Spotify’s head of public relations for Southeast Asia.

But aside from listening to a lot of music, Spotify found that Filipinos are quite partial to the local sound or Original Pilipino Music (OPM).

“There’s a huge love for OPM but also, the Philippines, especially has taught us about exporting music,” Ms. Kaur told BusinessWorld.

She added that the “#Hugot” playlist created by Spotify Philippines, which contains local and foreign songs meant to invoke feelings of sentimentality and love (as the term, hugot, is colloquially defined) is in the Top 100 playlists of a service boasting more than two billion playlists.

The #Hugot playlist currently has over 922,000 followers while “OPM Favorites” has more than 760,000 followers.

“We get quite sentimental about this because what this means is: Pinoys listen to Hugot and it’s the sound of home,” said Ms. Kaur.

And the popularity of local sounds has led the brand to create a new playlist -- “Early Noise 2017” -- which is filled with “rising stars that Spotify is tipping to make waves in Asia and beyond this year” according to the app.

The new playlist contains six local acts alongside other new Asian acts: Ben&Ben, whose music is influenced predominantly by folk, world, and pop music; Jess Connelly,

known for her vocals which are reminiscent of the 1990s; Kaye Cal, a singer/songwriter whose singles “Isang Araw” and “Why Can’t it Be” have garnered more than 4.1 million and 2.3 million streams, respectively; Leanne & Naara, a duo whose latest single, “New York and Back,” has gotten over 1.7 million streams; Zack & Fritz, a pop acoustic duo; and IV of Spade who just debuted their first single, “Ilaw sa Daan.”

The playlist, Ms. Kaur said, will be updated periodically as new acts enter the service or when the new acts get big enough to move on to other playlists. -- Zsarlene B. Chua