How convergence of music & tech creates the living room of the 21st century

Paris, 25 November 2014Martin Varsavsky, Founder & CEO of community WiFi network Fon, will deliver a Midem keynote to share his vision on how the time has come for convergence and new collaborations between the creative industries and digital technology.

Organised by Reed MIDEM, Midem takes place in Cannes, France, and has moved to a new slot, running from June 5-8 in 2015.

Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur who has founded seven companies over the course of his career, including Jazztel Telecomunicaciones, Spain’s second-largest listed telecom operator, and, the Spanish website/DSL provider.

In 2006 he founded Fon, a community-empowered company dedicated to building the world’s largest global WiFi network bottom up, which quickly became the largest WiFi community with over 13 million hotspots worldwide. The latest Fon product is the Gramofon, a WiFi Music Player for traditional speakers. By plugging the Gramofon into a stereo and connecting it to the internet via WiFi, music is played directly from any smartphone, creating a seamless home audio experience.

For his Midem keynote, Varsavsky will take as his theme “The Living Room of the 21st Century.” Whereas the living room was once dominated by the stereo and the TV, which were enjoyed by all simultaneously, the appearance of smartphones and tablets in the 21st century has greatly disrupted this paradigm, fragmenting families as each member now enjoys their own personal content. Varsavsky argues that there is still a longing amongst family and friends to enjoy common experiences, and that this swing to individualism will revert back to a combination of personal and social experiences, driven by technologies such as Sonos, the Gramofon, Apple TV and Chromecast.

“I am pleased to come to Midem to outline how new devices like the Gramofon and Sonos will transform the music experience, making music social and enjoyed by all involved. My goal is to bring music back into the living room,” said Martin Varsavsky.

“Martin Varsavsky is today at the convergence between music and tech, with the recent launch of Gramofon, a modern cloud jukebox which streams music to your sound system, providing a new way to enjoy music and therefore adding new value to music. Taking into account his achievements as an entrepreneur and angel investor, Martin has become a figurehead for entrepreneurs in the tech sector,” said Bruno Crolot, Director of Midem.

The keynote session will be part of Midem Talks, Midem plenary conference programme covering key topics for today’s music business. The other keynote speakers so far confirmed for Midem 2015 include composer and songwriter Paul Williams, President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); and Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer of Indiegogo, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform.

About Midem – Midem is the leading international b2b event dedicated to the new music ecosystem, with a market, conferences, competitions, networking events and a festival. It’s the place where music makers, cutting-edge technologies, brands & talents come together to enrich the passionate relationship between people & music, transform audience engagement and form new business connections.

About Fon – Gramofon is Fon’s latest innovation. Fon was founded in February 2006 by serial entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky with the goal of blanketing the world with WiFi. Today the company is a global WiFi leader with more than 13 million hotspots in more than 200 countries. Fon has offices in Madrid, London, Tokyo and New York. Its partners include BT (UK), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Oi (Brazil), SoftBank (Japan) and Telstra (Australia).