What do actor-singer Daniel Padilla and singer-songwriter Yeng Constantino have in common? According to Star Music head Roxy Liquigan, Padilla is the artist behind the best-selling Star Music concerts, while Constantino is the company’s best-selling artist of all time.
With its film production and distribution as well as its merchandising ventures already off the ground and running, ABS-CBN looked to diversify further by plunging into the music business in 1995.
Star Music’s main lines of business include creating, designing, developing, distributing and marketing audio recordings; music servicing (production of commercials, musical scoring); replication service; events production (mounting of concerts, mall shows); music publishing; and music artists management.
It aims to be a major player in providing audio content in its audience’s homes locally and internationally, Liquigan says.
The company currently has 80 artists on its roster, including the names behind some of this year’s biggest musical events. Among others, OPM aficionados flocked to Erik Santos’ “My Greatest Moments” 15th anniversary show and Sharon Cuneta’s “My 40 Years” concert.
Fans can also look forward to more music as Jed Madela mounts his “Higher than High” 15th anniversary show on November 16. Himig Handog, themed “Love Songs and Love Stories,” showcases the musical gifts of an especially youthful crop of singers and songwriters on November 25.
Liquigan counts among Star Music’s most notable achievements its being the consistent seller and hitmaker every year among all local record labels.
Meanwhile, MYX and MOR are also doing their share in promoting and growing OPM as the other segments of ABS-CBN’s music ecosystem.
“We are a music channel serving the interests and music needs of the Filipino youth,” says Andre Alvarez, channel head of MYX, says.
As Filipino teens’ music companion, MYX accommodates listener requests through social media channels as well as through its online and on-air programs and events.
“We go to schools, we have award shows such as MYX Music Awards, and our campus tour called MYX Slam Jam,” Alvarez enumerates.
The channel head describes himself as the “oldest teenager” he knows. For the past 18 years, he has held a job that requires him to be “in the know” about the sundry things that preoccupy youngsters. Also, after 18 years, he says he now works with colleagues who are young enough to be his children.
As the original channel head, Alvarez had seen the team grow from about five people to today’s 30, including nine VJs who make up the MYX Squad.
“When we started, it was such a daunting task to be up against MTV and Channel V,” he recalls.
As international music networks, MTV and Channel V could easily access artists like Britney Spears, the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys. Manilabased MYX played to its strength by going local, giving airtime to budding music video directors and producers and, Alvarez emphasizes, listening to their audience.
Today MYX is the last music channel standing as the competition had packed up and decamped almost a decade ago.
“When it finally happened, it turned out to be not as hard as I’d thought,” says Alvarez of beating the giants. “We had our own idea of what will work, but you realize the people are the ones that matter. That’s when being in the service of the Filipino comes in, when you cater to their needs.”
Being on ABS-CBN TVplus for the past couple of months further opened a whole new world for MYX.
“We have five million boxes out there. People who never had cable TV watch MYX for the first time and tweet us. We were surprised that wow, there’s still an unserved audience. That has injected new energy and life into MYX,” the channel head says.
For Alvarez, MYX’s greatest accomplishment has been its role in giving Filipino musicians a face and a sound.
“We do our best to help the music artists to be seen, heard and appreciated,” he notes.
With its crew of 21 “MORkada” led by former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate DJ Chacha, MOR aims to spread “happiness, positivity and good vibes by entertaining, affirming and uplifting Pinoys wherever they may be.”
“The Kapamilya radio station is dedicated to entertaining, affirming and uplifting Filipinos worldwide through a fully integrated music and entertainment experience on radio, online and on-ground events, giving them a much-needed escape from the harsh realities of life and spreading only good vibes and positivity for all,” says station head Mars Ocampo.
According to Ocampo, the radio arm of the ABS-CBN music ecosystem offers diversity and convergence of Pinoy pop culture, reflecting the nuances and topics of the Pinoy masamentality on platforms such as radio, online through the MOR website and social media, and physical on-ground experiences via MOR events.
In 2001, the rebranded ProStar Network and ABS-CBN Radio took to the airwaves as MOR in Cagayan de Oro. Meanwhile, in Manila, DWRR had undergone several transformations and transitions, taking on the name Tambayan 101.9 from 2009 to 2013 before reverting to ABS-CBN 101.9 FM.
In July 2013, it became known as the network’s flagship station MOR and brought back the popular “For Life” slogan.
In June 2018, MOR Philippines was rolled out, offering unified programs, online content and events to listeners in Manila and its provincial stations.
With this, MOR’s transformation into a “truly national brand was completed,” says Ocampo.