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 main 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).

In April 2019, Nico founded ChristianDance.eu, a platform that serves two audiences... listeners and artists. ChristianDance.eu offers listeners of Christian music a platform to discover new Christian music and rediscover favorites on the major streaming platforms. Artists are encouraged to submit their Christian music to our database, for use on our website and on the playlists we curate.

Nico adds, “The playlists cover almost every genre of Christian Music, so that you can listen to 'safe' music anytime, any place, and on any device supported by Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube.”

In February 2020, Nico ended the Internet Radio station activities because there were no longer enough listeners and donations to justify the high costs. "We took a bit of a gamble when we decided to switch from traditional radio to a 24-hour Christian internet radio station. 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 on a very specific type of audience. The trend in the number of listeners turned out to be nearly identical to the trend we were seeing on our other internet radio streams... and that was not encouraging at all", he says.

At the same time, the number of playlist listeners exceeded expectations. A growing number of people are using streaming services and listening to podcasts. "Traditional radio", Nico says, "is (by its nature) static, and is no longer able to meet the needs of modern listeners." Nico explains: "We not only want to listen to the type of 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 a strategy to focus on the following areas:

  • Website content - brief updates about new Christian Music releases (average of 2 updates per day, except on Sundays) and the weekly Top 50/100 charts that we publish. We want to become a go-to resource for new releases, stories behind the song, and song lyrics.

  • Gathering data on new Christian Music releases - actively monitoring various sources for new Christian music releases, screening music, and adding music into our database for future use. Our focus is on collecting Christian music that has been released in the past 18 months.

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

  • Transcribing and publishing lyrics - the focus is on Christian music. Lyrics are visible on music services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Shazam, Google, Deezer, etc.

Playlists

ChristianDance.eu offers you playlists with the best beats, and lyrics that you can trust! We give new artists a place to showcase their works. Investing in the future of (safe) music, we will provide tracks / songs that encourage the 'heart' to grow closer to God (Ephesians 5:19) and are pleasing to the ear. According to our view, the value of musical praise to God is not determined by how well one is known, and/or the money that an artist can spend for marketing & promotion.

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)

Through the technology we have put in place behind each of the playlists, we have received quite a few requests from people who enjoy 'other Christian genres', and they requested we 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 started publishing overviews of newly released Christian music in 2020. By 2021, we had become one of the leading sources for New Released Christian Music in the English language. The overviews are available for free to listeners around the world, as well as for broadcasters and publishers. We publish the following New Music Friday overviews:

  • New Music Friday Christian Contemporary (CCM)

  • New Music Friday Christian EDM (CEDM)

  • New Music Friday Gospel

We also 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 100 Christian EDM (CEDM)

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

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

  • Top 100 Gospel

  • Opwekking Top 100 - Dutch language

In general, all playlists are refreshed every week. All playlists, except for the Top 50/100 Charts, contain a number of new releases.

You can stream the playlists on Spotify, Deezer, Audiomack, and YouTube.

How

We spend quite a few hours each week discovering new Christian music and artists, which makes our playlists more exciting for listeners as well. We take a critical look at the song titles, artwork, and lyrics. All elements must be in line with a Christian lifestyle. We have been privileged to watch a number of musicians refocus their productions from a generic discography to Christian songs that praise the Lord.

In closing

We are humbled to be instruments of God and to pray that we can (in some way) contribute to (re-)igniting the faith and praise of people for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


Grace and peace,

Nico