With the entire world hypnotized by screens for the longest time, made worse by the global pandemic, podcasts have become a refreshing way to ease people from screen fatigue yet still providing quality entertainment.
In case you’re late to the party, podcasts are a form of episodic audio content where the speakers are focused on discussing a particular topic or theme, whether it’s relationship problems, true crime, or health and fitness tips.
Podcasts have now become a go-to platform for enjoyment since it allows listeners to dive into topics without having to set aside time to read or watch a video.
During the Spotify Creator Media Mixdown event attended by PhilSTAR L!fe on Oct. 6, Spotify’s Head of Studios for Southeast Asia Carl Zuzarte said that there are over four million podcast titles in the streaming platform, and the Philippines is one of the top countries in the world in terms of podcast engagement.
According to Zuzarte, there has been more than 60 percent in increase in time spent listening to podcasts among Filipinos in the past year. He also highlighted that podcasts were especially popular among Gen Zs, who had an average listenership of up to 86 percent.
The top shows include:
- Barangay Love Stories
- Dear MOR: The Podcast
- Charot Readings with Macoy Dubs & Show Suzuki
- Punchline with Alex Calleja!
"We want Pinoys to think of podcasts as their daily audio habit that provides a moment to pause and reflect on rich and inspiring stories. Local connections and storytelling are intrinsic to human identity and a primal form of expression," Zuzarte said.
What's in store for podcasters?
Zuzarte said that they are thrilled by the steadily rising podcast engagement and are thus motivated to continue making new innovations to help podcasters thrive in the platform.
One way is through the use of playlists, wherein they have made it easier for listeners to discover new podcasts that they may be interested in through curating playlists that focus on a particular subject such as mental health or fitness.
Spotify also created video podcasts to make the audio content more appealing among listeners, wherein they now have the flexibility to consume podcasts with a video so they could see their favorite creators.
Podcasters can also actively engage with their audience through the Q&A and Polls feature, where creators can ask their listeners on what kind of content they would want to see.
Last but not the least is the Spotify for Podcasters feature, a tool to help creators improve themselves through the use of statistics.
"If you're a creator right now, you can actually see your stats. You know who's listening, how they're listening, which point they left the podcast, and which points they really like," Zuzarte said.
Tips from famous podcasters
The event also gave an opportunity for well-known Filipino podcasters such as Mavy Legaspi, Kyline Alcantara, Antoinette Jadaone, JP Habac, and Bianca Gonzales to share their insights on the growth of podcasts in the country.
According to Mavy, who co-hosts the podcast MavLine on Me with his girlfriend Kyline, Spotify partnering with local creators is important.
"I think it's really an awesome opportunity and it's something very important because they can see a different perspective than public figures dito sa Philippines," Mavy said.
He added, "People are used to seeing Kyline and I give short responses or rehearsed answers. With Spotify creating a space that enables long and thoughtful conversations, it allows our listeners to get to know us in an authentic way."
When asked how to keep their content interesting and authentic at the same time, Antoinette said that being spontaneous works for her and JP in their podcast, Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast.
"'Yung process kasi namin ni JP when we think of topics, hindi talaga namin siya masyadong pinag-iisipan, hindi siya 'yung parang 'branstorm tayo'. Sometimes, an hour before the recording, wala pa kaming topic," Antoinette confessed.
"When we think of our topics, the first ingredient is that it must be funny. May maiisip kaming funny thing, so kahit na gaano siya ka-random, as long as we can find humor in that, then it's a go," she added.
For Bianca, who hosts the podcast, Paano Ba 'To, she said that the creators must be interested in the topic they're talking about in order to captivate audiences.
"I think the creator or the host has to be interested in the first place and then the interest of the listeners will follow. Because I listen to podcast and if it's a topic that I'm not really interested in, but because the way they talk about it, they're so interested, [I'm encouraged to keep listening]," Bianca said.
Zuzarte agreed with her and emphasized that podcasters really have to be enthusiastic in their discussion to reel in listeners.
But the most important tips he could share in podcasting is that you have to start in order to get somewhere, that you have to have your own story to share, and that you have to be committed to it.
Check out some of the other Filipino-made podcasts you can listen to here: