David Bowie foretold the economic future of music

David Bowie foretold the economic future of music


norman lebrecht

January 11, 2016

David Bowie, 2002, New York Times interview:


David Bowie performing onstage, October 1995

I don’t even know why I would want to be on a label in a few years, because I don’t think it’s going to work by labels and by distribution systems in the same way. The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing.

Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. So it’s like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left. It’s terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn’t matter if you think it’s exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen.


  • Janis says:

    Prescient — it seems that copyright still exists, but it just doesn’t matter to anyone but the holder.

  • Marg says:

    Excuse my cynicism but I note he produced an album to be released at the time of his untimely death, despite his 2002 pronouncements on the pointlessness of releasing albums.

  • Fred says:

    he’s absolutely right. BUT things can be revolved or kept under control but as he said, nobody cares, and shark states as Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, parts asia just do as thet please with illegal copying and nothing can be done against it?
    Youtube also played/plays a BAD role in it all, and the uncontrollable (so far) internet.
    I’ll stick to my cd’s, dvd’s and lp’s and apres moi le deluge. But still so sad for the atrtists and composers who live from it all….resulting in less talent more crap.
    A Kaufmann CD (just an example) would sell fa rmore were it not for the internet. Anybody can copy, send the copy and whatever…SAD