Will.i.am, Rudimental To Join Music-Centric MMIX At Mobile World Congress

Courtesy Photo
Will.i.am photographed in 2014.

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- the largest gathering of mobile-marketing professionals, with 72,000 attendees in 2014 alone -- is taking a musical approach to this year's confab. Beginning March 2, branding agency Momentum Worldwide and the GSMA (Groupe Special Mobile Association) will present the first MMIX (Mobile.Music.Innovation.eXperience), three days of programming dedicated to the intersection of music, mobile, content and tech.

MMIX will kick off with a CEO panel in Hall 4 Conference Village at Fira Gran Via featuring speakers Will.i.am, recording artist and founder-chairman of i.am+; Philipp Humm, CEO of Vodafone Europe; David Hose, CEO of Rhapsody International; and Rich Riley, CEO of Shazam, with moderator Alice Enders of Enders Analysis. The program will continue on March 3 with live performances from UK collective Rudimental and international dance music legend Roger Sanchez at the official MWC15, to be held at the Italian Pavilion at Fira Montjuïc. MMIX will conclude on March 5 with 4 Years From Now (4YFN), a forum that will explore the future of mobile innovation and disruption for recorded and live music, featuring representatives from companies like Deezer, Rdio, Spotify, Deutsche Telekom, Smart Communications, Sonar and Great Escape festivals and Ministry of Sound, among others. Tickets and additional information are available at www.themmix.com.

Though music and mobile have started to become inextricably linked thanks to cloud-based services like iTunes Radio, Spotify, Deezer and Pandora, Rhapsody's Hose hopes this year's Mobile World Congress and the events of MIXX will generate new strategies to further drive awareness. "We see a lot of growth in our sector, but worldwide penetration is still less than 1%," he says. "So even in our mature business, countries like Western Europe and the U.S. still have a lot of education to do. Though now it seems kind of novel,I think when we look back, we'll see that his particular opportunity was an obvious next step in music's journey at the forefront of mobile."

James Anderson, managing partner at Momentum Worldwide, notes that MMIX was designed to bring together "a team of experts that might have different, opposing views who aren't necessarily pulled together at the same conferences." Indeed, rising platforms like Hungama, Psonar and Rightster as well as app-developers BioBeats and Eskimo are just a few of the lesser-known companies that will have a seat at the table alongside representatives from some of the more usual suspects. "We saw this property as a means for conversation around convergence and how these companies could work together for a productive aim," Anderson continues, "to get under the skin of these trends and become a massive facilitator to provide ongoing support and consultancy."