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We are in the information age, but what exactly does that mean for musicians? How have things changed? How do we adapt, grow, and even thrive in the time we now occupy? Find out.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:14 Adapting, growing, and thriving in the information age
  • 00:46 The Compact Disc is no longer a business model
  • 01:36 Change in the information age is constant
  • 02:08 Change doesn’t equate to progress
  • 02:47 Traditional job roles are becoming extinct
  • 03:24 Entrepreneurship and creativity as pre-requisites for life
  • 04:05 These are just some of the ways things have been shifting
  • 04:15 Ponder these questions

Tweet These Quotes:

  • Napster was showing us that an era was coming to an end. – Tweet This
  • Changes are coming at us more rapidly than ever before. – Tweet This
  • If you don’t stay current, you risk getting left behind. – Tweet This
  • If you want to thrive in the information age, you can’t assume change means progress. – Tweet This
  • Entrepreneurship and creativity are fast becoming pre-requisites to life. – Tweet This


You probably noticed how the subtitle of my book is Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age.

By and large, the music industry either doesn’t know it’s in the information age, or is going kicking and screaming.

But changes will come. The industrial age is over, and there are new rules for engagement here in the information age. It’s naive to assume that nothing will change in the music industry when there are shifts happening all around us, especially on a technological level.

In my book, I talk a bit about what has changed, and what it means for artists.

#1: it was foolish to assume that the Compact Disc would remain a business model forever.

If you were to examine how things have changed in the music industry from a historical perspective, you would see that format shifts have been happening before we ever had CDs.

From patronage to printed music, vinyl to cassette tapes, and so on.

Naptster was first launched in 1999, that’s 16 years ago. But did we view it as a prophet signaling the path forward? No, we instead saw it as an imposter.

But Napster was showing us that an era was coming to an end. It was showing us what was to come, and how music would be marketed, shared, and distributed in the information age.

You don’t have to look much further than iTunes, Pandora and Spotify to see living examples of what Napster ultimately led to.

#2: change is constant.

Changes are coming at us more rapidly than ever before.

Entrepreneurs, startups, and new technologies are disrupting, and are challenging the status quo. This is exciting if you’re keeping up with the trends, but it’s very scary if you aren’t.

So if you don’t stay current, you risk getting left behind.

At first, this may not pose any problem. But if you refuse to change, you’ll end up being like a Blockbuster in the age of Netflix – entirely unsustainable.

#3: change doesn’t mean progress.

Is new always better? No, it isn’t.

Rapid change can also lead to a lot of mistakes. Think about it for a second.

If someone threw you into a new job, and the work was highly technical and in an area you knew nothing about, you’d probably make a lot of bloopers.

And it’s the same with technology, science, and business. There are a lot of great ideas coming forward, but there are also a lot of big mistakes being made along the way.

So my argument here is that, while change is needed, and it is constant, it doesn’t always translate into something better.

If you want to thrive in the information age, you can’t assume change means progress.

#4: traditional job roles are becoming far less relevant.

People will change careers anywhere from seven to nine times throughout their lifetime – and that number just keeps going up.

This is partly because a lot of people want more out of life. They don’t want to be on the sidelines waiting for things to happen. They want to be the movers and shakers of the world.

But the other reason is because job security has gone the way of the dinosaur age. What is your reward for staying in a job for 40 to 50 years, if you somehow manage to claw along until you get there. A golden pen? That’s not a reward – that’s a slap in the face!

And this is why…

#5: entrepreneurship and creativity are fast becoming pre-requisites to life.

These aren’t the privileges of the brilliant or eccentric. If you truly want to thrive in this age, then you must take a different approach.

I’m all too familiar with the messages out there – don’t worry, the government will take care of you. Your family will take care of you. You’ll win the lottery someday.


Musicians have a distinct advantage in that they are already tapped into their creative side. They’re learning important problem-solving skills as they go through their career experiences.

I’m not going to say that you are better by default. But what I will say that you’re probably in a better position to take advantage of these times than most people are.

These are just some of the ways things have been shifting and changing here in the information age.

There’s so much more for me to cover, but don’t worry – there are more episodes to come.

In closing, I want to leave you with a few questions:

  • Are you aware of the changes that are happening out in the world? What opportunities and threats have you observed?
  • What are you doing to prevent yourself from becoming a Blockbuster in the age of Netflix?
  • What are your attitudes around the status quo? Do you believe that going to school, getting good grades, getting a good job and working really hard is still the sure path to success in the age we’re in?
  • And finally, are you taking an entrepreneurial and creative approach to your career and life, or are you waiting for things to happen?
David Andrew Wiebe

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