DistroKid, the digital distribution service that allows artists to upload their music across a variety of digital platforms, is making moves to combat the uploading of stolen content to Spotify, Apple Music and other services through a new strategic partnership with content recognition company Audible Magic.
The partnership, announced on Wednesday (June 12), comes as a slew of bold-faced artists — including Beyonce, SZA and Rihanna — have seen their unreleased music uploaded to streaming services under fraudulent names. Most recently, a snippet of a leaked Playboi Carti song entitled “Kid Cudi” (retitled “Kid Carti”) was uploaded to Spotify — via DistroKid — under the fake name Lil Kambo. The track eventually reached No. 1 on Spotify’s US Viral Top 50 chart before seemingly being removed, though it remains hidden in a playlist on the service and is now readily available on YouTube.
Under the partnership, artists who upload song files via DistroKid will now have those files cross-checked for authenticity by Audible Magic’s RightsRxTM solution, which boasts access to a registry of over 20 million media assets. Additionally, DistroKid will become the first distributor to utilize Audible Magic’s Broad Spectrum, an extension of the company’s ContentID service that can “uniquely identify extreme manipulations of rate, pitch and tempo using only small clips of audio.”
“In this day and age, it’s imperative for artists everywhere to register their content to not only claim ownership, avoiding impersonators, but to also ensure that they are being accurately credited and compensated,” said Audible Magic president and CEO Vance Ikezoye in a statement announcing the partnership. “DistroKid has a positive reputation amongst artists for making distribution fast, reliable and easy. This partnership signals our joint commitment to an industry working towards clean data, proper rights management and improved artist attribution.”
In the press release announcing the partnership, DistroKid also revealed a new, free resource entitled DistroLock that allows any artist to upload and register their unreleased tracks to the service, which are then encoded with a unique audio fingerprint and added to Audible Magic’s registry. The resource, which DistroKid developed with insights from Audible Magic, is described as “an industry-wide solution” designed to block unauthorized music from appearing on streaming services and social platforms. DistroLock additionally includes an API that will allow other distributors and streaming platforms to validate the authenticity of music uploaded to their own platforms.
“Until now, there hasn’t been a definitive way for artists to say, ‘this is my audio, don’t let anyone else release it,'” said DistroKid CEO Philip Kaplan. “With the launch of DistroLock, any musician can preemptively register their audio to help ensure that unauthorized releases don’t see the light of day. This partnership with Audible Magic and the creation of DistroLock will help artists by ensuring that their original content is uploaded and distributed fairly, with accuracy and speed.”
DistroKid was founded in 2013 and is now used by over 40,000 artists including 21 Savage, Ludacris, Will Smith and Tom Waits. They offer services including distribution, monetization, metadata customization, storage and promotion.
Audible Magic’s other clients include Facebook, TikTok, Soundcloud, NBCUniversal, CD Baby, Twitch and Twitter. The company was founded in 1999.