Responding To Kaiser's Generation M2 Study

Lots of chatter today around the study, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the finding that young people between the ages of eight and 18 devote just under eight hours a day to media consumption (which actually adds up to more like 11 hours of media content, if you take into account all the “media multitasking”). With hefty numbers like these and the rapid increase from the last time this study was conducted in 2004, it’s easy to spin negative a la USA Today and come up with provocative headlines like “Kids less happy as they’re more plugged into TV, music, Web?”

To the piece’s credit, it does use the question as a launching point for a slightly more nuanced discussion around (surprise) moderation and striking a balance between screens and real life, but with its overall cautionary tone, the repeated catch-all description of “media consumption” and “technology’  might as well be replaced with “junk food.” Overall it just struck me as a skewed way a looking at a much more multifaceted relationship between t(w)eens and media.

What’s missing is the flipside of this type of research. Both with the so-called “happiness/media” connection and its brush off of recent studies like Mediasnacker’s The Web Makes Me Feel and MTV Sticky’s Teen Age Clicks: Understanding Global Youth Culture, which cited music, TV and social networks as generating happiness and alleviating stress, and also with the far-reaching positive potential of new media.

MacArthur has also been funding lots of research about how all of this digital media is impacting learning whether formal or informal. Watching a show and then going to a fan forum and posting about it  or interacting with other viewers during the show online is much different than…

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of diaper commercials are the same thing, just different babies and different brands.” –Female, 25, WV

Instagram is most popular photo-sharing app out there with 30% of Millennials using it daily, according to Ypulse’s March monthly survey. Now the platform has released Layout, a stand-alone companion app that allows users to easily create photo collages, and includes fun ways to edit images. Existing photo editing apps, which many use before posting images on Instagram, often have clunky interfaces and are jammed with ads. Layout preserves Instagram’s simplicity while providing a tool already in demand, and is already being used by major brands like Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and even Michelle Obama. (Fast CompanyAdweek)

Young consumers are obviously passionate about music and want to discover new artists, but with so much new content coming out daily, and in so many different places, keeping up with the latest can be hard. Well, if you’re a hip hop fan, there’s an app for that. White Label is a music discovery and streaming service that helps users keep up with the hottest in hip hop by monitoring user engagement between Twitter and SoundCloud to chart the most popular songs of the moment. Hip hop fans are said to be the “single most active music audience on Twitter” and White Label allows them to stream buzzed about tracks and also read the conversations going on about them, a concept some think “should be made for every genre.” (The Next Web)

Is The Twizzler Challenge the next Ice Bucket Challenge? The new social campaign is a call to action to raise funds for the New York Collaborates for Autism, and asks participants to chew on both ends of a Twizzler until their lips meet, Lady and the Tramp style. It’s silly, a little awkward, and has reportedly been catching on since it debuted on Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars and The Today Show. It hasn’t taken off quite like last year’s ubiquitous icy charitable phenomenon yet, but could be a trend to watch. (The Daily What)

Stuffed animals are still a big part of childhood, but Build-A-Bear is adding some digital elements to their experience to appeal to young consumers growing up in a tech-centric world. Store designs are getting digital facelifts, and the brand has launched a new app and website that includes games, storytelling, and shopping; along with a YouTube series that features their plush characters. In an effort to please all ages, as 20% of their customers are actually 14 and older, the store is also collaborating to create a Disney Princess line, Frozen and Marvel characters, and an upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIIcollection. (brandchannel)

We told you what brands were up to at SXSW last week, which included tapping into attendees to crowdsource new ways to appeal to young consumers. Several brands at the festival also gave young startups the chance to earn support for their own innovative projects. Vitaminwater’s Project Hustle and Mastercard’s Priceless Elevator Pitch were Shark Tank-inspired contests that both took place in fake elevators, and asked participants to pitch unique proposals for a chance to win cash and mentorship to make their ideas come to life. Vitaminwater was also apparently inspired by Kickstarter: 10 Project Hustle finalists will continue selling their ideas and crowdfunding online for the following months. (Mashable)

Have some lingering questions about Millennials that you need answered for an upcoming meeting? That’s what Ypulse is here for. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. (Ypulse)

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