The story behind ChristianDance.eu
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 now serves multiple audiences... listeners, artists, radio stations/networks, media, bloggers, and more. ChristianDance.eu has become 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, the overviews of new music releases that we publish, 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 not 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"... The biggest surprise came later when we discovered that radio stations and other media were actively using our weekly new music overviews.
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 wrap-ups of the most popular Christian releases of the past week. We want to become a go-to resource for new releases, stories behind the song, and song lyrics.
Creating & publishing overviews of newly released Christian Music - we actively monitor various sources for new Christian music releases, screening music. Our new release overviews are an easily accessible resource for content creators in various areas of broadcasting and publishing. Our primary focus is on Christian music that has been released in the past 2 - 4 weeks.
Curating Playlists - We use Spotify as the primary source for playlist creation, and automatically sync the content of some playlists to other music streaming platforms.
Helping artists to monetize their song lyrics - by transcribing and publishing lyrics to monetized databases, and explaining how to collect these royalties. Lyrics are visible on music services, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Shazam, Google Search, Deezer, etc.
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.
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,