Christine Larson

Christine Larson is a PhD candidate in the Communication Department at Stanford University studying creative industries and cultural labor, as well as a facilitator with the OpEd Project, a media activist organization.

Recent Articles

David Bowie, Media Economist

How Bowie's predictions of the digital media revolution reshaped music, books, and journalism. 

AP Photo/Nils Meilvang, Nordfoto
David Bowie’s death evoked a tsunami of appreciation for his talents as musician, performer, songwriter, actor, and style icon. But no one, so far, has celebrated his genius as armchair economist of the media industries. They should. Bowie’s insights into the impact of technology on his own field proved prescient not only for music, but for journalism, books, and other media industries. In June 2002—not even a full year after Apple launched the iPod—the Thin White Duke was already preparing for a future of streaming media. “Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity,” he told Jon Pareles of The New York Times that year. “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.” Years before most musicians, let alone economists, understood the full implications of music piracy and streaming content, Bowie saw that profit depends on...