Ypulse Essentials: The Grammys Were Flat, Getting Serious About Streaming TV, More 'Hunger Games' News

There were few surprises at the Grammy Awards this year, including Adele taking home (six awards, winning in every category in which she was nominated. The Grammys tried to reach out to a young audience with a showcase of electronica music, which has been a rising music genre. Meanwhile, the rock music category didn’t feel much like rock at all, with it’s soft, toned-down nominees, making us wonder if true rock and roll really exists anymore. One of the few surprises was when Taylor Swift didn’t take home the award for Best Country Album. We also weren’t big fans of the show’s “country bumpkin” approach to her music, which would have only been worse with live animals and having her black out one of her teeth. So yeah, we’re calling this Grammy show a miss… At least the lack of surprises means this year no one’s asking, “What’s an Arcade Fire?”) (Billboard) (LA Times) (WaPo)

- Amazon is getting ready to add original programming to its slate of offerings (putting itself in direct competition with Netflix and Hulu, as well as the cable industry. Some networks and shows are starting to take online video seriously, recognizing it as a complement to regular programming. There’s still a fear of cannibalization of the regular viewing audience, but it looks like networks might finally understand that Millennials’ busy social schedules often keep them from the shows they love and they want an option for streaming the shows on their own time) (AllThingsD) (WSJ, reg required)

- As our hysteria for ‘The Hunger Games’ continues, we can’t wait to watch the music video for one of the songs in the movie (“Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, which premieres tonight on MTV at 7:54pm, but in the meantime, catch a sneak preview here! We’re also eager to read the many movie tie-in books…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: Q: “Why haven’t you had children yet?” A: “I’m gay. So having a child is a big decision.” –Male, 22, CA

Back to school shopping is moving slower than usual this year, but that’s not the only shift that retailers need to contend with. We outlined the top five categories for spending among high school and college students this season, and tech is in the number one slot for college students and a close second for high schoolers. Increasingly, getting the latest headphones or mobile tech is just more important to young consumers than getting the latest fashions. As one teen told the Times, “It’s definitely more exciting for a lot of teenagers to have a new phone that can do lots of cool stuff than clothing.” (NYTimes)

When Millennials are shopping, more and more prefer to pay with plastic, with debit cards as their main payment of choice. A recent survey by CreditCards.com found that debit cards are preferred 3-to-1 over credit cards among consumers 18-29-years-old—a finding that makes sense considering this group’s fear of debt and cautious financial outlook. Cash is gradually being ignored in favor of debit as well. Among the same group, 51% prefer plastic over cash for purchases under $5, compared with 82% of consumers over 65 who use cash for under $5 purchases. (CNBC)

Our social media status update made it clear that the big platforms are spinning out plenty of new stand alone apps to test new features and try to attract young consumers. Now Instagram has introduced yet another. Their new Hyperlapse is an app that speeds up and stabilizes video, creating beautiful, impressive looking shorts that can be shared to Facebook or Instagram. There is already a #hyperlapse tag that users are employing to share their creations. Time will tell if the app is useful and interesting enough to stand on its own. (Fast Company)

“Everybody is trying to hack Instagram.” That’s what Like2Buy’s cofounder says, and they’re finding ways to help retailers turn social media love into real sales. Target and Nordstrom are both using Like2Buy platforms that link photos posted directly to product pages to buy if they are interested. The hope is that the integration will provide a more seamless experience between browsing Instagram and shopping, and give young consumers the “speed and convenience” that they expect in all facets of brand interactions. (Brandchannel

In the wake of the crisis in Ferguson, two Georgia teens have turned to tech to try to make a difference, and invented an app to help prevent police brutality. Five-O is “like Yelp,” and allows users to create incident reports about their interactions with officers, giving them a grade. The app also includes a “Know Your Rights” function to that users can easily look up what rights they have when dealing with the law. The two sisters behind the app had “dabbled” in code before, and are planning on releasing more apps in the future. (NYMag)

Looking for a quick Millennial stat to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated Millennial news items, 2 billion peer-generated opinions from our mobile, social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics on Millennials drawn from our bi-weekly national survey of the generation. You search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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