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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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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