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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There's been a resurgence in the home cook, and that's been my biggest interest. There's increasing amounts of high-quality, interesting produce and recipes to use.”—Male, 29 ,NC

Millennial moms are a coveted demographic for marketers, but are ads missing the mark when portraying them? A recent global study found that advertisers “may be overestimating the value women place on appearances during early motherhood:” only 30% of new mothers and pregnant women would use “beautiful” to describe themselves, but 63% say marketers have used the term to described people like them. These “airbrushed version[s] of motherhood,” could cost brands consumers, as six in 10 Millennial moms stating they rather see real moms in ads instead of actors. (Campaign US)

The financial crisis has triggered distrust between Millennials and financial institutions, negatively affecting traditional banks. At first glance the future of banks looks grim: 71% of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than to the bank, 73% are more interested in financial services from Google and Amazon than established banks, and 33% believed they won’t need banks in five years. However, banks have the opportunity to cater to Millennials by putting digital first: 74% say mobile banking is very important to them, and 40% said they rather communicate with banks via email and websites. (Avoka

When we asked Millennials and teens what would make them eat at McDonald’s, customization and variety was one theme we uncovered, and the chain is making changes to give them what they want. The brand’s new “Create Your Taste” effort uses touch-screen kiosks that allow for ordering one-of-kind burgers with “multiple bun options, specialty sauces, and unique toppings.” Presentation and quality are also on par with fast casual restaurants: burgers and fries are served in “trendy metal mesh basket[s],” and the ingredients are reportedly “of shockingly good quality.” The update is a continuation of McDonald’s turnaround plan, which introduced all-day breakfast last year and revived sales. (Business Insider

Brands looking to work with digital influencers should take note: There is actually a possibility of being too popular online. Once social media influencers reach a “critical mass” of followers, audience engagement begins decreasing, and continues to drop as their follower count rises. However, “micro-influencers,” or accounts that have a following between the 10,000-100,000 range, “get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.” For these micro-influencers, sponsored posts take a back seat to their personal content, creating a more authentic tone—and they  may present a “sweet spot” for marketers. (Digiday

Obsessee is a media brand with no publication and no website, and it could be the future of magazines for Gen Z. The “fashion-focused digital entity” tailors content to each of the various platforms it lives on, which currently includes Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Spotify, Periscope and Google Plus. This native content multi-platform approach was conceived when research showed 14-22-year-olds avoid websites, prefer content on social media channels, and would rather get information from individuals instead of brands. Obsessee conversational, positive content targets Gen Z values: “approachability, inclusivity and authenticity.” (Fashionista

Quote of the Day: “I like shopping at Trader Joe’s, because it’s a fun alternative to the usual chain supermarkets to pick up specialty items that are tasty.”—Male, 33, MD

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