AUDIO-STREAMING service Spotify is banking on the popularity of podcasts in the Philippines by partnering with nine Filipino podcasts which include those offering “adulting” tips to podcasts meant to put people to sleep.

“People listen to podcasts to [not only] be informed and entertained, but also to relax,” Carl Zuzarte, head of studios at Spotify Southeast Asia, told reporters in a Sept. 22 digital conference.

In 2015, Spotify started adding podcasts to its catalogue though it was only in 2019 when it was decided to push harder on the category by acquiring Gimlet Media and Blue Chip Productions, companies who produce podcasts including StartUp, The Pitch, and Science Vs.

“In the Philippines, about 85% of the people listen to music or podcasts everyday, so audio is really a big part of people’s lives and lifestyle,” Mr. Zuzarte said, quoting a Spotify survey they conducted in July with YouGov which had more than 1,000 Filipino respondents.

Seventy-five percent of the Filipinos surveyed were also “craving screenless time” and podcasting, according to Mr. Zuzarte, is seen as “an obvious way to still engage and to learn and to be informed but not while locked into your screen.”

“Obviously, there’s opportunity in the way people are living their lives and for podcasting to play a part in how they want to live their lives,” he explained.

The popularity of podcasts in Southeast Asia has grown in the past few years, with Jaime de Silva, head of communications for Spotify Asia, noting that they saw “a really, really huge growth in Indonesia” and that the Philippines is “the second market we’re starting to look at.”

“We find that most of Spotify listeners are listening to podcasts,” Mr. Zuzarte said, before adding that they’ve seen people aged 25 to 34  making up the bulk of Spotify’s podcast listeners.

Podcasts (a portmanteau of iPod and broadcast) are digital audio files made available on the internet or to be downloaded on a computer or mobile device. These audio shows, usually created as a series, include a wide variety of genres from true crime, history, and business, to inspirational and advice, and meditation.

Currently, there are more than 1.5 million podcast titles available on Spotify and these can be accessed by both free and premium users alike. Among the biggest and most popular podcast creators on the service are former US First Lady Michelle Obama, American comedian Joe Rogan, and Israeli blogger Nas Daily.

Spotify has also inked deals with Warner Bros. and DC Comics to produce scripted podcasts featuring comics superheroes and villains Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the Joker.

So now, Spotify partnered with nine podcasts from the Philippines and brought them to the Spotify Exclusives fold: Adulting with Joyce Pring, Sleeping Pill With Inka, Wake Up With Jim and Saab, The KoolPals, Boiling Waters PH, The Eve’s Drop, Ask Say, Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast, and Walwal Sesh.

Mr. Zuzarte, in a Spotify statement, said they partnered with these “top Filipino podcasters” to “deliver fresh perspectives and belong to a new generation of creators.”

Sleeping Pill With Inka is an ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) audio show where host Inka Magnaye reads books and poems meant to help people relax and fall asleep. Adulting with Joyce Pring, meanwhile, is an advice podcast where Ms. Pring shares tips on how to tackle adult issues as a 20-something Filipino and talks about topics ranging from mental health, love, relationships, and other life lessons.

“I started this [podcast] when I hit 25 and I really felt like I had a quarter-life crisis… I really felt like I hit the wall. I went through a big break-up [and] I travelled because I wanted to get over my break-up. I was going through a lot of issues that I felt like I couldn’t talk to anybody else about it because I didn’t see anything on the internet that talks specifically about 20-somethings going through somethings. So I created Adulting with Joyce Pring to really be able to create the platform to start substantial conversation about human experiences,” Ms. Pring said of her podcast during the digital conference.

In Wake Up With Jim and Saab, celebrity couple Jim Bacarro and Saab Magalona talk about their adventures as a married couple and new parents. With The KoolPals, comedy trio GB Labrador, James Caraan, and Nonong Ballinan discuss pop culture topics with a healthy dose of Filipino humor.

For people looking for a relationship podcast, Boiling Waters PH is a series that talks about relationships and romance with a dash of humor. The Eve’s Drop is hosted by broadcast personalities Delamar Arias, Francesca Tobias, and Gelli Victor, where they talk candidly about a variety of topics.

Much like Adulting, Ask Say is a podcast where Say Tioco talks about what life has taught her, from living independently, love, sex, relationships, career, travelling, and more. Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast, despite its name (it translates to “Useless Podcast”), sees its hosts, filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone and spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severa, talking about love and pop culture.

Finally, Walwal Sesh is a podcast where hosts converse on several topics including mental health, equality, sex, among others. — Zsarlene B. Chua