The New Mobile Storytellers

In Millennial minds, the world is just waiting for them to record it. According to Ypulse’s research, 70% of Millennials say that they use their phone’s camera frequently, making it the third most used feature after messaging (91% use frequently) and phone calls (75% use frequently). It’s no secret that photo apps have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, with Instagram and Snapchat leading the pack. Millennials’ heavy use of their smart devices' cameras is about their increased reliance on visual communication using apps like these—but it is also about their desire to tell their stories to those around them. Their Instagram feed becomes a visual timeline and public journal that showcases not only the people, places, and things that fill their days, but, thanks to filters and comments, also their mood at the time. It’s the story of their lives. But their increased reliance on mobile video is making that storytelling even more advanced. Vine launched in early 2013, and an April Ypulse survey found that 4% of 14-18-year-olds were using the app—but by October the number had increased drastically to 19% for the same age group. A quick perusal of the most viral Vine stars shows just how creatively some Millennials are telling visual stories, even in short six-second clips. But not everyone can easily craft a story, even if they want to share one, and just as photo apps evolved to allow amateur users to look like pros thanks to a click of a filter, video apps are evolving to help Millennials be the storytellers they want to be. Whether documenting their own stories or creating new ones, thanks to some emerging apps and tools it is becoming easier than ever for them to express their creativity. Here are three of the most buzzed about apps in the visual storytelling space: 
 

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Quite frankly there are guys clothes I like sometimes but I never could wear. I mean, I'm not a cross dresser! But if they had something in my size and shape, totally. I would buy it.” –Female, 14, OH

Three singles from Ariana Grande’s sophomore album My Everything have already infiltrated the top 10 on iTunes before its release, but she is going beyond online hype for a triple marketing threat. The 21-year-old will appear with Jessie J and Nicki Minaj in a 2-part commercial that tells the story of a night out and its aftermath using clips from their music video collaboration. The commercials, branded with Beats and Target, will air during the MTV VMAs where Grande will also perform live, all one day before the album drops. (WSJ)

SoundCloud is going the way of Spotify by introducing a tiered subscription service that will also bring advertising (read: revenue) to the platform. The first Partner tier offers helpful feedback and basic statistic tools and will be free for the 10 million plus creators heard on SoundCloud each year. This announcement comes months after new streaming services like Beats Music flooded the market, and its latecomer status may prove helpful for Millennial listeners who are already accustomed to in-app ads or paying to opt out. (TechCrunch)

First pizza becomes a one-button business, and now video editing is being democratized for the masses with new app Fly that “makes big-time, Cannes-ready cutting room floor techniques as simple and intuitive as a flick of the finger.” The one-touch, video editing app makes simple edits like cuts and transitions, but also allows users to put videos side-by-side and stitch together different cameras to capture multiple viewpoints of an event. (Netted)

Millennials have been experiencing a disconnect with “luxury,”and Louis Vuitton has been seeing declining sales across Asia despite its prominence and ubiquity with global consumers. To hold onto its market, LVMH is diversifying into entertainment, specifically into K-pop. The company has bought millions of shares in South Korea’s YG Entertainment, one of the major players in K-pop’s explosion and the same enterprise that represents the genre’s hottest stars and fashion icons: Psy and G-Dragon. (Quartz)

Approximately $458 million was spent last year investing in wearable tech, but as product offerings become more diverse across patches, watches, and clothes, they’re losing a focused purpose and the attention of the general Millennial buyer. In a study from textbook service Chegg, out of 1,000 college students, 67% had not even heard of the term “wearables,” and of the 18% who do own a wearable device, the majority had bought inexpensive activity trackers. (PandoDaily)

Quote of the Day: "An athletic hoodie never goes out of style according to me. It's easy, can get dirty, and you'll show a bit of school pride. Besides, no one expects you to look top dollar every day in graduate school.” –Male, 27, MD

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