Imagine rap lyrics without the F-word. Or acid rock lyrics without sex. Or reggae lyrics without drugs. Howard Rachinski imagined it all last year, and he and his colleagues created SongTouch, an online music store much like iTunes—but without a single “Parental Advisory” label among its 220,000 religious, inspirational, and classical titles.
“Our core target market,” Rachinski says, “is people with Judeo-Christian values or faith not wanting to compromise that faith.”
Today, tens of thousands of SongTouch customers legally download 99-cent copies of songs from Carrie Underwood, Casting Crowns, and Tobymac. SongTouch (www.songtouch.com) offers 27 musical genres, from Americana to Southern gospel, plus spoken-word performances.
The Portland, Ore.-based SongTouch already is drawing attention in the entertainment world. The website is the only online Christian store that Microsoft has built into its system of exclusive partner stores in Windows Media Player 10.
Rachinski is no stranger to Christian music. The former church music minister is president and chief executive of Christian Copyright Licensing International. The little-known company acts as a middleman between 170,000 client churches worldwide and the holders of copyrighted music that the churches wish to use in worship services.
“I have no personal animosity against Eminem or Madonna,” the 55-year-old Rachinski says, “but some people want a safe place to go.” (RNS)