DistroKid Announces New “Upstream” Program to Share Streaming Data With Record Labels.

Many artists want to stay independent. But some don’t. For artists who are interested in signing with a record label, we’ve built Upstream.

Upstream is a matchmaking service that helps artists looking for labels, and labels looking for artists, to find each other. It’s free, optional, 100% artist-friendly — and there’s nothing else like it in the world.

If you’re an artist and want to meet record labels, you can opt-in here.

DistroKid decided to make an easy way for everyone who’s interested to connect with each other. This new service is called, “DistroKid Upstream” and is available now.

Upstream is more powerful than just a matchmaking service, though. Their goal is to give artists power over record labels — to help artists achieve better, artist-friendlier terms than would otherwise be possible.

As always, DistroKid is committed to being the best, most artist-friendly music service in the world. Upstream has these tenets at its core:

  • Major and independent. There are a lot of different labels out there. To help interested artists find the right fit, DistroKid is curating a huge roster of labels. This includes the labels you’ve heard of — and vetted indies you haven’t.


  • Real, successful labels only. Each label is individually vetted by DistroKid. Before a label is granted access, they must display a proven track-record of success helping artists achieve greatness.


  • No funny business. If you opt-into Upstream as an artist, you’re not giving up any rights or signing anything away. You’re just signaling to labels that you’re available — and privately sharing your Upstream profile with them, which includes links to your music, streaming data, and contact info.


  • Clarity & privacy. By default, artists are not opted-into Upstream. So if you prefer being independent and don’t want labels in your business, no action is necessary.


  • Free for artists. Upstream is 100% free for artists. Record labels pay a small finders fee to DistroKid when they sign someone. Artists don’t pay anything. Any fee the label pays to DistroKid won’t affect artist earnings from the label. And as always, artists receive 100% of earnings from DistroKid.


  • No middle-man. If a label is interested, they’ll contact you directly and you’ll work with them directly. DistroKid stays out of it (unless you need our help…). So it’s just you and the label(s), no other parties involved.


  • No commitment, leave any time. You can opt-out of Upstream whenever, with the click of a button. Your releases will be unaffected.


  • Expertise. Che Pope has joined DistroKid to architect & lead DistroKid Upstream. As a producer Che has won Grammys, produced for Lauren Hill, The Weeknd, Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, 150+ films/TV shows & commercials. As a record exec, he was A&R at Warner. Che was COO of Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music — and has way too many other credits to list. Che’s insights when it comes to helping artists get a fair deal are trailblazing.

So… is Upstream for you? DistroKid doesn’t promise fame and fortune. A lot of artists want to stay independent without labels (and/or just keep it a hobby). 

At the same time, there are artists who want professional assistance with marketing, promotion, playlisting, radio, PR, collabs, touring, merch, awards, advances and other things labels help with.

Either way, there’s no commitment. So feel free to opt-into Upstream to see what labels have to offer. Or don’t. Artists are in control; the choice is yours. And you can always change your mind. 

The first label DistroKid announced publicly is Republic Records. Republic’s roster includes DrakeTaylor SwiftPost MaloneLil Wayne, Nicki MinajAriana GrandeJohn Mellencamp and more.

SOURCE: Philip Kaplan