[Editor’s note: Dead? Far from it - OPM’s stronger than ever. Below is the press release from Spotify.]
MANILA, Philippines – Look over to that girl with the headphones on. Any guesses what she’s listening to?
If you guessed OPM, you’d probably be right. If music were the rhythm of Filipino culture, Original Pilipino Music would be its instrument.
And data shows the genre is gaining popularity – as of January 1, 2019, OPM content has garnered close to 10 billion streams on Spotify. Spotify recently took a look at music that young Filipinos (18 to 24 year olds) were discovering on its platform and found that 80% of the top 20 most-discovered were OPM artists.
The Philippines is a music-loving nation, and OPM plays a significant role in driving that passion. The widespread popularity of OPM within the country and other parts of the world led Spotify to create the OPM Hub for fans.
Specially curated by Spotify to feature what’s trending locally, up-and-coming music, the top artists of OPM, and of course, legendary hits. Spotify’s OPM Hub is the one destination for fans to check out the past, present, and future of the Philippines’ best music.
A hub for local music
Since its launch in 2015, the OPM Hub has broken barriers while simultaneously showcasing its unique culture by shining a spotlight on the most important voices in the Filipino music industry.
“It is our aim to be a platform of discovery for both artists and music lovers,” says Eve Tan, Music Culture & Editorial, team lead, Spotify Southeast Asia. “Apart from that, we also aim to uncover every layer of this rhythmic musical culture which is an important component of today’s mainstream, modern music. We are extremely excited to see the OPM genre continue to grow and achieve milestones as we connect more artists with fans in the country and beyond.”
The hub, which includes everything from the latest OPM pop hits to your favorite OPM hip hop, drove the number of streams and sharing of OPM music, leading to breakthrough 2016 hits including “Hiling” by Mark Carpio, “Dahil Sa’Yo” by Iñigo Pascual, and “Again” by Leanne & Naara. Some of the flagship playlists found within the hub include Tatak Pinoy, OPM Favorites, OPM Rising, and Pinoy Covers.
Discovering Pinoy rock
Spotify also plays an active role in helping OPM get discovered by more audiences. Most recently, Spotify shone a spotlight on Pinoy Rock with timeless acts Sponge Cola, Hale, and Callalily, along with up-and-coming rockers This Band, December Avenue, and I Belong to the Zoo, discussed the evolution of the OPM rock scene, their struggles as artists, and what they hope to see in the music scene in the near future.
Technology was a constant theme in the video series. Artists like I Belong to the Zoo’s Argee Guerrero credits technology for helping him see how his music is enjoyed, saying, “You can see who listens to you, where they’re listening, and how they’re listening.”
Spotify’s second most-streamed local artist in the Philippines in 2018, December Avenue, notices a similar opportunity. “We don’t have a radio or TV presence, so we need to resort to the tools available at our disposal, like the internet. Spotify’s a huge help, actually. It became like a form of distribution for us.”
Check out the full video series on Spotify Philippines Facebook page:
Based on Spotify’s streaming data, Filipinos love official soundtracks. For example, after the film Kita Kita came out, many fans came on to Spotify to stream KZ Tandingan's “Two Less Lonely People in the World.” The track peaked at number two of the Philippines Top 50 chart. The same was seen for Darren Espanto's “Dying inside To Hold You,” which is an OST for the movie All Of You.