The Power Of YouTube: Don't Stop Believin'!

Journey's new singerTrue confession: I’m a karaoke junkie. My birthday is actually an annual sing down at a Chinese restaurant nestled in a strip mall near my house. My husband brought me back a little karaoke machine when he traveled to the Philippines, which lasts about 30 minutes before conking out. And while I know that love of karaoke is certainly not limited to younger people (hello “Duets”?), games like Rockband, Simon’s blistering karaoke insults on “Idol” and the endless tribute videos on YouTube have fueled a new generation of crooners.

When I saw this story about how Journey [yes, the same Journey that ended “The Sopranos” and made the series premiere of “Glee” so irresistible] found its new lead singer [on YouTube, natch!], I couldn’t look away. In a way it was like that Marky Mark movie about the cover band singer landing the gig with the real band - except that it also felt sort of reflective of what’s happening in global youth culture right now. That a young wringer for Steve Perry (or at least his voice) could post a video on YouTube and be “discovered” by the band’s original members feels like a modern narrative that is becoming more common (think: Esmée Denters).

We can probably credit karaoke for keeping bands like Journey relevant to youth across the Pacific Ocean. As for “classic rock” remaining relevant here - between the Woodstock resurgence our advisory board member Caro wrote about yesterday, VH1’s I love the 60s/70s/80s and classic tunes continuing to show up in pop culture [“500 Days of Summer” made me want to buy Hall & Oats’ greatest hits on iTunes immediately], well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked to hear a similar version of this story with another incomplete band from our collective past looking to capitalize on a pop culture resurgence—at least in the short term.…

 
 

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“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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