The story behind ChristianDance.eu

Why

ChristianDance.eu is aimed at a Christian audience (and people who love to listen to music with lyrics that they can trust).

I have been involved with traditional radio and sound engineering since I was 16 years old. I had been looking for a Christian Dance radio station that could compete with many of the popular Dance Music stations that (my) (grand-)children are listening to. My concern was the lyrics of many songs, lyrics that glorify behavior that is frowned on in many homes... and I don’t know any parent who would be happy that their son / daughter is treated in a manner that we often hear in the lyrics of these songs. If we fill our minds with lyrics that glorify poor moral standards, then these standards will become a ‘normal’ part of our life,” explains Nico Zwaneveld (founder of ChristianDance.eu).

Nico started ChristianDance.eu in April 2019, a project to help new and less known artists promote their (safe) music via Internet Radio, and also via curated playlists on Spotify & Deezer. “The playlists cover almost every genre of Christian Music,” he adds, “so that you can listen to 'safe' music anytime, any place and on any device supported by Spotify & Deezer.”

In February 2020 Nico ended the Internet Radio station, because the number of listeners did not justify the high costs. The switch from running Christian programs on traditional radio to a dedicated (24x7) Christian internet radio station was a bit of a gamble. "I had been seeing a decrease in listeners on three regional stations (traditional radio) that I was involved with, and I was hoping that internet radio would prove to be a better channel if we focus the music and programming to a very specific type of audience. The number of listeners turned out to be nearly identical to the number of listeners we had for the other three internet radio streams... and that was not encouraging at all", he says.

At the same time the number of playlist listeners grew beyond expectation. Nico was seeing a growing popularity for music streaming services and for podcasts. Nico believes that traditional radio is (by nature) too static, and no longer meets the demands of present day listeners. Nico explains: "We not only want to listen to the music and programs we like, but we also want to control when we can listen to it." This is what Nico calls "On Demand Listening... any time, any place and any device"...

What

This insight has led to the strategy to focus on the following three areas:

  • Website content - brief updates about new Christian Music releases (average of 7 updates per day, except on Sunday's) and the weekly Top 50/100 charts that we publish.

  • Curating Playlists - Spotify as the primary source, and automated syncing to other music streaming platforms.

Playlists

ChristianDance.eu offers playlists with fantastic beats, and lyrics that you can trust! We give artists a platform for their new releases. We believe that we are investing in the future of (safe) music, and will feature tracks / songs that bring the "heart" closer to God (Ephesians 5:19) and are a pleasure to listen to. We believe that the value of one’s musical praise to God is not determined by how well they are known.

Initially, the playlists and the radio station were aimed at the following genres:

  • Christian EDM (CEDM), incl. Christian Trance & Christian House

  • Christian Hip Hop (CHH)

The technology that we have put in place behind each of the playlists also started to trigger quite a few requests from people who appreciate ‘other Christian genres’ and they requested us to create playlists for:

  • Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) - English language CCM and also a playlist for Dutch language CCM

  • Christian Ambient music (instrumental versions of (popular) christian songs / hymns)

  • Traditional Christian music

  • Taíze

  • Christmas music

  • Gospel music

We managed to tap into the number of times that songs have been played in the past 14 days... and this led to the creation of Top 50 / 100 charts for a number of christian music genres:

  • Top 50 Christian EDM (CEDM)

  • Top 50 Christian Hip Hop (CHH)

  • Top 100 Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) - English language

  • Top 50 Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) - Dutch language

  • Top 50 Gospel

Characteristic for all playlists is that they are being refreshed every week, and with exception of the Top 50/100 Charts, the playlists always include a number of new releases.

The playlists are available op Spotify, Deezer, YouTube, and Qobuz.

How

We spend quite a few hours each week to discover artists that are new to us, and that makes our playlists also more exciting for our listeners. The danceability and the energy level of a song needs to be high. We are also looking critically at the song titles and song lyrics, and they must be in harmony with a Christian lifestyle. Usually the tracks that we playlist and broadcast via the radio are productions coming from Christian Artists, but we also have Christian-friendly artists reaching out to us with beautiful tracks. We have had the privilege to witness how a number of artists have refocused their releases from generic discography to Christian songs praising the Lord.

In closing

We are humbled by the thought that we are instruments in God’s hands and may (in some way or other) touch the hearts of the people that cross our path and (re-)ignite / inspire / support their faith and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Grace and peace,

Nico