Morning Fix: Christian Rap Goes Mainstream; Big Machine Relaunches Dot Records; Meet Us, Vine's First Major-Label Story

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AGAINST THE TIDE, CHRISTIAN RAP GROWS AND GOES MAINSTREAM

"We live under the banner of Romans 1:16, which says: 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,' " says Bradley Tomlinson, Reach director of marketing. "We have a fan base. They support us. People are looking for something new and outside of the typical messaging."
Billboard.biz


SCOTT BORCHETTA, CHRIS STACEY ON THE RELAUNCH OF DOT RECORDS, BIG MACHINE'S LATEST IMPRINT

Chris Stacey, former senior VP of promotion for Warner Nashville, set up shop at his new office down the street on Music Row last Friday -- as head of the revamped Dot Records, inside Big Machine’s global headquarters. As the first executive to sit in the office previously occupied by Big Machine Label Group president-CEO Scott Borchetta, Stacey knew he had a lot to live up to.
Billboard.biz


THE STORY OF US: VINE'S FIRST MAJOR-LABEL SIGNING (EXCLUSIVE)

In late November, Us began experimenting on Vine by recording 6-second covers (or #6SecondCovers) to their Vine account, @UsTheDuo, which then had roughly 4,000 followers. Eventually, their covers of everything from John Legend’s “All of Me” to the Quad City DJs’ “Space Jam” theme song began picking up steam.
Billboard.biz


AFRICA, ON THE RISE (ANALYSIS)

If you were to take the latest global recorded music data from the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI), published last week, you could be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t a whole lot going on with digital music in Africa.
Billboard.biz


NO MORE £0.99: TAX LOOPHOLE CLOSURE IN U.K. COULD UP THE COST OF DIGITAL GOODS

The price of music downloads in the United Kingdom could be set to increase following new tax laws that threaten to end the standard price of £0.99 ($1.63) for song downloads.
Billboard.biz


GWAR FRONTMAN DAVE BROCKIE, AKA ODERUS URUNGUS, FOUND DEAD AT 50

The frontman for gore-loving heavy metal band Gwar has died. Police have confirmed earlier reports that Dave Brockie, known to fans as Oderus Urungus, was found dead at his Richmond, Va. home on Sunday evening. The singer was 50.
Billboard.biz


DISNEY ACQUIRES MAKER STUDIOS FOR $500 MILLION

Disney has agreed to acquire YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, the companies announced Monday. The value of the digital media firm could balloon to $950 million if certain performance targets are met.
Billboard.biz


LYOR COHEN’S 300 ENTERTAINMENT SIGNS ERIC BELLINGER (EXCLUSIVE)

Lyor Cohen’s 300 Entertainment has signed Grammy Award-winning songwriter Eric Bellinger, Billboard has learned exclusively. Under terms of the new deal, the Warner Music Group-distributed 300 Entertainment will release, market and promote Bellinger’s debut solo album, "The Rebirth."
Billboard.biz


LOLLAPALOOZA HEADS TO SOUTH AMERICA, 'WHERE THE MONEY'S GREAT'

A trio of South American Lolla­paloozas scheduled for this spring, including a first foray into Argentina, underscore how the events' organizers are mining the buzzy South American market and could provide a road map for similar festivals looking to expand internationally.
Billboard.biz


RHAPSODY DROPPING THE ECHO NEST

Unsurprisingly, Rhapsody has announced that it is ending its partnership with The Echo Nest, the Cambridge-based data think-tank acquired by Spotify earlier this month. It's the second Echo Nest partner, after Rdio a couple weeks ago, to end a partnership with The Echo Nest.
Billboard.biz


THESE MAPS SHOW WHICH CITIES HAVE THE MOST DIE-HARD MUSIC FANS

Global news site Vocativ has discovered America's true musical preferences. The team mined online data — including illegal song downloads, tweets, and BitTorrent traffic — to reveal the most popular genre of music in 100 U.S. cities.
Business Insider


MUSIC PIRACY GOES MOBILE

Mobile applications have eclipsed file-sharing services, online storage sites known as “digital lockers” and stream-ripping software as the most widely used source of free music downloads, according to a new study from researcher NPD Group, whose results have not previously been made public.
Re/code


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