How do we create the Weekly Playlists?

Sometimes we get a question about how we compile the weekly playlists. So we put together a small explanation about our way of working...

But first and foremost... none of this would be possible without our volunteers. Click here for an overview of the work that our volunteer teams perform.

The Basics

Discovery

The Weekly playlists are "Discovery Playlists", where we look for a pleasant mix between current hits and possibly tomorrow's hits. Listeners can discover music that may be new to them, or just enjoy the periodically refreshed collection of music.

We do our best to expand the database with new gems so that our listeners are pleasantly surprised with each refresh of the playlist.

No Explicit language!

Need we say more...

Popularity - the music we love to hear

Our listeners expect to hear popular music and like to discover music that has the potential to become tomorrow's hits.

Our database contains:

  1. Songs that have already proven to be (very) popular

  2. New songs... the songs that we believe deserve to be discovered (and could become tomorrows popular hits)

New arrivals are therefore screened by our A&R Team. When songs pass the screening, they are randomly plugged in between popular songs in our playlists. This gives new releases a chance to be discovered and grow in terms of popularity.

Even the best hits can lose their popularity over time... and placement in our playlists is linked to current popularity.

Our Databases

Growing the database

We have a large database of songs that we use as our source. Whenever we find songs that fit in our scope, it is added to the database.

In parallel, each song receives a danceability and popularity score. These scores are kept up to date by a number of sources, so that we ultimately have a fairly dependable ranking.

New Releases

We have a number of channels through which artists (and/or their agents) propose new releases for our consideration. We also receive emails from artists and/or their agents that have worked with us previously.

Screening of these new releases can be quite time-consuming... there are periods where we receive up to 30 songs per day for consideration. Each song will take us on average 3-5 minutes to listen to... and then we need to decide what we are going to do with it. In many cases, we can not flat-out say "No" to an artist/agent, because of the relationship we have built... Harming the relationship may result in losing the edge we have with future submissions... (and we love being one of the first with access to the pre-release).

On average 2 - 3 submitted songs are actually accepted per day. When we accept a song (or get the scoop on an upcoming release), we also post to our page on Facebook and Twitter.

Our Top 50 / 100 Charts

The large music platforms are providing us insights on how often songs/tracks have recently been played (e.g. in the past 7 / 14 / 30 days). We found a way to combine all of these inputs for many thousands of tracks, and (somewhat to our surprise) discovered that the tracks people are frequently listening to significantly differ from Billboard (& similar) charts.

We see changes in listening behavior around certain seasons that are not reflected in the major charts... and that fueled the idea that we should create a unique chart.

We look at ALL music within a specific genre, regardless of whether it is 10 years old, or has just been released. If the music is currently being listened to, then the number of recent plays are being considered towards a listing in our charts. In our charts, you may even see older favorites come back into the top rankings. As previously said, all that counts is the music that people are currently listening to.

Since Billboard is asking money for their Top-XX Christian charts, we see more people. mediums and Radio/TV-stations turning to our charts.

Bringing it all together

Generate the playlists on Spotify

We take samples from the database and supplement it with songs that are marked as new arrival. The list is shuffled.

Then we listen to see if the playlist works... if it doesn't sound right, we start to move songs around... and maybe even replace a few songs until it sounds right.

We place everything in a queue, ready for the playlist refresh every Friday on Spotify.

Replicating the playlists to other platforms

We sync all of our playlists to Deezer and YouTube. If a song is available on the destination platform, then we can list it in the respective playlist. The syncing process is a fully automated process, so we drastically reduce the effort and the chance of any errors that are common for a manual process.

Donations

This is how we use donations:

  • Our way of working requires access to a number of platforms that give us access to new releases. Some of these platforms have one-time / recurring (subscription) costs.

  • We also have (custom built) tooling for our database, and for the automated replication of playlists to Deezer.

  • Harvesting & processing data about the number of streams for tracks in our database has a cost aspect to it.

  • The website has annual costs.

Your donation helps us to continue this work. Any amount helps.