Indie distributor DistroKid has launched Upstream, a new product connecting artists to labels. Among other advantages, it will allow acts to automatically share their streaming data with approved labels. Republic Records is the first company to sign up.

Ché Pope, previously an A&R exec at Warner Music and COO of Kanye West's GOOD Music, will run the unit, working with labels and acting as an advocate for artists. “Ché is a visionary with unparalleled experience and insight as an artist, label exec and technologist," said DistroKid Founder and CEO Philip Kaplan. "He will be hugely valuable to Upstream label clients, and he is committed to helping artists get a fair deal.”

"Millions of artists rely on DistroKid and often ask for help getting noticed by record labels," Kaplan continued, "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."

Republic Founder and President Avery Lipman noted, “Upstream provides us with artist insights we can combine with existing sources of data to cast an even wider net with respect to identifying great emerging talent."