There aren’t many worse ways to start a day than by having to get up early to de-ice your car and then finding out David Bowie has died but that’s how my Monday started.

With the shocking news that one of the most visionary artists in recent memory had died after an 18 month battle with cancer, with it came an outpouring of grief from all corners of the internet. Peers and collaborators such as Iggy Pop, Tony Visconti, Gary Numan and Mark Lanegan all tweeted out in tribute to a musician and actor whose ability to change, challenge, dare and thrill reflected so much of what we love about creativity.

This constant need to reinvent and redefine the zeitgeist ensured that Bowie always remained relevant while others slipped by the wayside and into self-parody. In talking about this need to constantly innovate, this video from 2000 is especially prescient. In it, David Bowie talks to Jeremy Paxman about his career to that date but it’s not until the 6:19 mark where he comments on the chaotic impact the internet will have on society and music, essentially predicting where we find ourselves now as a society in 2016. Bowie predicts that: “The potential of what the internet is going to do to society – both good and bad – is unimaginable. We’re on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

Check it out for yourself:

Since this interview was aired we don’t need to tell you how much the music industry has drastically changed and the role the internet has played in that. When this interview was aired, it was the heyday of Napster and within a year Metallica would put an end to that example of P2P sharing. However, this opened the floodgate of innovation and from this point on there was no going back. In the 16 years since, we have seen music labels almost crumble into obscurity and ineffectiveness, the growth of iTunes as the number one source for purchasing music, YouTube change the way we view music videos, Spotify become one of the most influential ways in which we consume music, and artists themselves have started to fight back by starting their own streaming service.

With all this information at our fingers, the scales have tipped away from the major labels and into the hands of the consumer as Bowie predicted. With this turn of events, artists have had to take a more cautious and innovative stance in regard to the digital landscape. Taylor Swift famously refused to allow Apple Music to stream her album ‘1989’ in protest at the three month royalty-free trial the company offered subscribers at launch, and Thom Yorke is routinely making the case against streaming services for the paltry amount they generate for musicians.

The world lost a true visionary today, and it goes without say that a vast majority of the office have been blasting his music in tribute. RIP David Bowie.

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