David Bowie Predicted The Rise Of Music Streaming Services Before Anyone Else

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Early Monday morning, the world learned that legendary Rock icon, David Bowie, passed away at the age of 69 following a private battle with cancer. The loss of this legendary musical figure has been felt all over the music industry with artists from many genres expressing their love for Bowie, as well as their sympathy and condolences for his family. But not only was Bowie beloved for the fantastic art he created, he was also a major proponent of artists’ rights in the music industry, and, in a 2002 interview with the New York Times, he may have prognosticated the present state of the music industry and the streaming services that are the main sources of music today.

Bowie predicted in that NYT interview that “music itself is going to become like running water or electricity,” services paid for monthly that are very similar to the current business models of Spotify and Apple Music. The icon also predicted the battles some musicians, like Taylor Swift and Adele, are having today with those services when it comes to music rights and royalties. He was also ahead of the curve when it comes to investment businesses like Kickstarter. In 1997, he started “Bowie Bonds,” which allowed people to invest money in his music in exchange for future royalty payments from said music. It was a boon for Bowie as he raised $55 million from the bonds, giving him a large sum of cash upfront instead of waiting for the slower and smaller payments from his royalties in the future.

In the business side of music, he was an innovator and remained ahead of the curve of all problems that artists continue to face today. These ideas and predictions confirm that, just like his music, Bowie wasn’t just thinking about the future, he was living in it.

(via Mashable)