Fon's Martin Varsavsky to Keynote Midem 2015


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Martin Varsavsky, Founder & CEO of community WiFi network Fon has been named a keynote speaker at next year's Midem conference, where he will offer his views on the future of convergence and new collaborations between the creative industries and digital technology. The world's largest international music conference, Midem has moved from its traditional January slot to a new time of year in 2015 - June 5-8 in Cannes, France.

Martin 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 Ya.com, 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 created a communal experience for the nuclear family, now, thanks to tablets and smartphones, the trend is now moving towards solitary experiences. 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.

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.

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