DIY music distributor DistroKid last week announced that it had launched a new service called Upstream.
The service, which is free for artists on DistroKid, allows independent musicians to share data with record labels in hopes of getting signed.
The first label to join the platform was the Universal Music Group-owned Republic Records, which is home to musicians such as Taylor Swift, Post Malone and The Weeknd, among others. However, DistroKid says more companies will be added soon. DistroKid will receive a commission fee from partner labels if an artist is signed, and the platform says the fee will not affect artists’ royalties or remuneration in any way.
“Millions of artists rely on DistroKid and often ask for help getting noticed by record labels”, DistroKid founder and CEO Philip Kaplan said. “And record labels have approached us about finding efficient ways to identify talent in the DistroKid community. With demand on both sides, it made sense to play matchmaker”.
Kaplan also said that Upstream will be an opt-in service for all DistroKid users. “If an artist does not want to be signed or does not want to share their data, they don’t have to opt in,” he told Billboard. “They don’t have to do anything, and nothing will change.”
Upstream will be led by former Warner A&R and COO of Kanye West’s GOOD Music, Che Pope. “Philip and his team have built DistroKid into a phenomenon that more than two million unsigned artists rely on, with thousands more joining every day”, he said. “For those artists who want to be noticed, Upstream provides a powerful way to connect with record labels. For labels, Upstream opens a window into a cache of data that can help identify promising artists early in their career”.
DistroKid is the biggest independent distributor globally. The platform distributes about one third of all new music in the world, with more than 2 million artists and outperforms rivals such as CD Baby and TuneCore, which distribute about 650 000 and 250 000 artists, respectively.