Internet Piracy, SOPA, Megaupload, And What It Means To Millennials

Stop SOPAThe past week had a huge impact on young, media-savvy Millennials, because of the war waging among Internet sites and the federal government. First, young people banded together with websites to stop the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, and succeeded in at least postponing the Congressional votes on the bills. On the heels of celebrating a victory over Internet censorship, they saw Megaupload, a file hosting/sharing platform, get shut down and its operators charged and jailed.

Why does it matter to Millennials? They live their lives online, and file sharing has become a significant part of that — cyber lockers are as much a way for them to give a “mix tape” to a friend who lives overseas as they are a means to share work files with colleagues.

We’re not naïve though. Most Millennials are Internet pirates and use such sites to obtain music without paying. (For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus only on the music industry — movies and TV have their own separate issues.) Ypulse and other researchers have confirmed that most young adults have indeed pilfered music from the Web… But this isn’t a fight against intellectual property and copyright; in fact, more are paying for music than stealing it. So if they’re willing to pay, why are they stealing? In short, it’s in their DNA.

Aside from the fact that students are perpetually broke, Millennials want to try before they buy, whether that means listening to music before buying the album, getting their hands on a tech device before they make the investment, trying out power tools in store before bringing them home, or using a trial membership before signing a contract with a gym. They want to know, beyond a doubt, that they’re going to like what they’re getting. Particularly since the recession, they know that every dollar…


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Quote of the Day: “My biggest mistake was that in my financial beginnings I did not seek help from an advisor and I did very badly with my investments, but later I was able to recover.”—Male, 33, NY

The Museum of Ice Cream and Sephora are coming together for a sweet collab. Popsicle-shaped lip glosses, sprinkle-filled brushes, and more Instagrammable products are available for a limited time. Collaborations seem to be the MOIC’s latest move to rake in revenue (they also teamed up with Target), and this one makes sense: young consumers are indulging their “treat yo self” moments with makeup, and similar products like Too Faced’s peach and chocolate-themed collections are flying off shelves. (Cosmopolitan)

Sony is debuting their own ode to retro gaming: the PlayStation Classic. Millennial geeks everywhere, rejoice. The tiny console (with mini controllers to match) will include 20 fan favorite games like Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3. The question isn’t why Sony is doing this, it’s why more companies aren’t doing this after seeing Nintendo’s runaway success with the SNES and NES Classic. Consoles will come to shelves in early December, right in time for the holidays. (TechCrunch)

The next Netflix movie could premiere on IMAX. And It’s not just Netflix: IMAX’s CEO said “all of the streaming” giants are “in active discussions” to bring their movies to the big screen. Streaming services have shaken up Hollywood by premiering big-budget movies with A-list actors on small screens, betting that young viewers prefer their couches to theaters. But while staying in is the new going out for many Millennials, their love of experiences is also bringing back the box office. (THRThe Verge)

Some wealthy Millennials are becoming social justice warriors to make an impact with their extra resources. Members of Resource Generation give 16 times more than they did before joining up, and together they’ve raised $120,000 for an affordable housing organization, donated $135,000 to the Social Justice Fund Northwest, and much more. In our Topline on the topic, 88% of 13-35-year-olds said they think they can make a difference by getting involved. (Business Insider)

Chinese Millennials and Gen Z are turning their attention from livestreaming to short video clips. Douyin, a short video app known as TikTok in the U.S., has over 500 million monthly active users globally. It was even the world’s most-downloaded app for the first half of 2018, according to Sensor Tower, and its rival Kuaishou is racking up users too. Meanwhile, users and stock are dropping for livestreaming platforms—with the exception of esports. (CNBC)

Quote of the Day: “I once spent $30,000 in one year solely on fun things (entertainment, traveling, dining out, etc.).”—Female, 21, PA

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