Making the Ultimate Dance Floor Hit

In a matter of weeks, clubs will be opening up again in the UK, meaning people will once more be able to enjoy dancing with their friends to their favourite songs on the dancefloor. With the music pumping, the drinks flowing and the laughs neverending, it’s no wonder why so many are eagerly anticipating the return of nightclubs.

As experts within the flooring industry, we took it upon ourselves to find out which songs and artists are most popular on the dance floor by analysing every single Spotify playlist that included the term ‘dance floor’ in some capacity. We also think we’ve cracked the formula on what makes a great dance floor hit!

Most Popular Artist Gender and Nationality

We scraped through a total of 706 Spotify playlists that contained 15,329 unique artists and 23,887 unique songs to find out the top artists types and nationalities. For the purpose of this piece, we only analysed artists that featured 11+ times across all 706 playlists – giving us a total of 1,175 individual artists.

From this data, we learned that male artists seem to be favoured the most when it comes to our dancefloor playlists, stealing the top spot with 428 features. Male groups came in second with 251 features and female solo artists took third place with 195 features. Male DJs and mixed groups made up the rest of the top 5 most popular artist types.

When it comes to nationality, American artists stole the show with 584 features! British artists were a close second followed by Australian and French.

Top 10 Dancefloor Artists and Songs

So, which artists are known for creating the best dancefloor hits? Well, according to our data, American rapper Pitbull is the number one artist to hype people up and get them dancing. Featuring 481 times across all 706 playlists, he clearly knows how to make a club banger! David Guetta came in second with 479 features and Rihanna followed closely behind with 434 features.

Across all 23,887 unique artists, there was also a clear top 10 songs that featured within the playlists multiple times. Usher’s Yeah! Featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris being the ultimate song to get people moving. Low by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain was also a very popular song in these playlists along with September and Uptown Funk

Finding the Formula for the Ultimate Dance Floor Hit

But what exactly makes a great dance floor hit? We analysed both the top 10 artists and top 10 songs to find out what’s really needed to earn yourself a place amongst them. Our data shows that you have a better chance of making it as a top 10 dance floor artist if you are male – with 6 out of 10 artists being so. However, an all-male band is unlikely to make the cut as not a single group, male or female, featured in the top 10.

It seems American artists also have the bigger advantage when it comes to securing a place in the top 10, as 70% of those featured in the top 10 are of American nationality.

Most Popular Genre in the Top 10

When it comes to making a top 10 dance floor hit, R&B and Pop songs have the most success, likely because they are usually well-known and easy to dance to. None of the songs in the top 10 were explicit either, suggesting that cleaner songs go down better on the dance floor.

Have a Positive Song Sentiment

Songs with a positive sentiment score feature most often in the top 10. We learned that a positive sentiment score of 0.4+ is the best way to get you in the top 10 with 60% of the current top songs with this score.

What Lyrics to Include

There are certain lyrics in the top 10 songs that stand out and make an appearance multiple times. So, if you’re writing a song, including some of these words might make your chances of creating a top 10 dance floor filler that little bit better!

  • 70% of top 10 songs include the word ‘night’
  • 50% of top 10 songs include the word ‘dance’
  • 50% of top 10 songs include the word ‘baby’
  • 50% of top 10 songs include the word ‘girl’
  • 40% of top 10 songs include the word ‘love’

What Key and BPM (Beats Per Minute) is Best?

Of course, it’s not all about the lyrics and we discovered that songs in the Major key are the most popular. We also found that songs between a 100-130 BPM feature heavily in the top 10 making them easy and fast-paced enough to dance along to.

How Long Should a Song Be?

Every single song in the top 10 is over 3 and half minutes long but remains less than 5 minutes – a trend to keep in mind and follow to get your song in the top 10!

Methodology

We scraped the Spotify data of all playlists that feature ‘dance floor’, pulling every song and artist featured across each one. In order to find the top 10 nationalities featured and top 5 artist types, we analysed the 1,175 artists that featured 11+ times across all playlists. We also analysed how many times each song and artist featured across all 706 playlists to find the top 10 songs and artists.

To create the ‘formula’ we looked further into each of the songs that feature in the top 10, looking at BPM, key, duration, genre,sentiment and explicitness to find trends within 

Data was collected in June 2021.

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