Audio streaming giant introduces new podcast format ‘Music + Talk’ in the Philippines

Let's talk music

Great conversation topics: films, books, travel, politics, food, philosophy, and music. The last one, music, is a universal language. We come across it pretty much every day, all the time, whether on radio, television, the internet, or in our heads. It forms a huge part of our lives.

What makes music unique is its ability to evoke other senses and feelings. A note, beat, or an entire song brings memories. It stimulates our brains into thinking we are back in certain cherished moments. For instance, hearing “La Isla Bonita” by Madonna reminds me of weekends spent with the family, karaoke nights, and the whiff of popcorn and finger food in the air.

Perhaps one would associate a mellow-tuned song similar to “Nothing” by The Script with a painful breakup, or “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” by Elton John with a soothing lullaby by a parent or guardian on sleepless nights, or “Hey Jealousy” by Gin Blossoms with days we would laze around with cousins, playing video games or rough-housing.

Psychologists and neuroscientists claim that music holds disproportionate power over emotions. Studies uncover evidence that our minds bind us to songs, especially those we have heard from our youth.

Of course, aside from nostalgia, music helps reduce anxiety, boost confidence, improve cognition, and prompt creativity. Best of all, it creates social cohesion. When words fail, music speaks. All of these make music one of the most interesting subjects of discussion.

In the Philippines, Spotify recently launched Music + Talk, a new and unique type of audio experience that combines spoken word commentary with music tracks. Think repayable radio program. Listeners can now access a wide range of locally made Music + Talk shows by popular Filipino creators that are relatable, sentimental, or a good way to discover new songs.

From a song’s origin story to a discourse on trends and charts, the new format allows audiences to go deeper into the music through conversations and commentary from leading content creators and musicians, such as the band The Itchy Worms, singer-celebrities Jugs and Teddy, two of the top Filipino podcasters, couple Jim and Saab.

“Filipinos are passionate about music, and ‘Music + Talk’ will provide an even more immersive and interactive audio experience for them,” says Spotify head of studios for Southeast Asia, Carl Zuzarte. “With the lockdown, many Filipinos are looking for respite and connection while being at home. Likewise, local creators, who want to engage their audience in a deeper way, are also looking for new creative outlets.”

When words fail, music speaks.

Through this latest format, according to Carl, artists, creators, and fans are able to express themselves freely on the audio streaming app, creating fresh avenues to engage with their friends and podcast audiences like never before.

As per Spotify’s Culture Next Report, Filipino millennials and Gen Z respondents are concerned with learning the background and cultural backstories of songs. Music + Talk, therefore, provides a seamless experience of exploring tracks while going into important details of each.

These are the titles that fall under the new format, which are currently available on Spotify.

Soundtrip with Jugs & Teddy, as the name implies, is a jamming session with the musician duo from the afternoon television program It’s Showtime. Dissect some of the best OPM hits and the untold stories behind them with Jugs Jugueta and Teddy Corpuz.

Musicians and husband-wife Jim Bacarro and Saab Magalona produce their second podcast called Makinig Ka Muna with Jim & Saab. They read out letters from young Filipinos, after which song recommendations that fit the stories and situations are played and discussed.

Worms Upon A Time: An Itchyworms Podcast scrutinizes some of Itchyworm’s favorite tracks in the last 25 years. The OPM legends tackle their latest single “Eto Na (Ang Maliligayang Araw)” for their first episode.

Saab explains that Waking Up with Jim & Saab is more casual and less structured while Makinig Ka Muna with Jim & Sab is a full-blown produced podcast. In true radio program style, the podcast-parents made contact with their letter sender on the first episode where they got into the nitty-gritty of the youth’s story.

What Jugs likes about the new format is that it enables creators to provide facts and opinions about iconic songs. “Being passionate about music, we’re excited to bring Filipinos on a journey with us, giving them insights into OPM they never knew about,” says the lead vocalist of The Itchyworms. “Music + Talk makes it easy for creators to engage listeners on a more personal level and also shine a spotlight on local Filipino musicians.”

“Jim and I have seen and experienced the growth of podcasting in recent years. Spotify’s Music + Talk is a gamechanger, allowing us to have deeper conversations on what we are passionate about—music!” says Saab. “We can’t wait to share more of our thoughts and trivia, and bring music to life through storytelling.”

Other local Music + Talk shows include Eves Drop Radio by Delle Fran Gelli Jude, The Ride with Jude & Fran by Jude Rocha and Francesca, On That Note by Podcast Network Asia, Foaming at the Mouth by Diego Castillo, New For You: Podcast by MOR Entertainment, and Musikalikot: Extended Play, Carl’s Guitar Picks, Playlist ng Buhay Ko, all by PumaPodcast.

Through Anchor, Spotify’s all-in-one podcast platform, anyone, whether a professional podcaster or someone who simply loves music, can create a Music + Talk show that seamlessly mixes spoken word content and music with access to Spotify’s library of over 70 million tracks.