Ypulse Essentials: Blockbuster's Movie Pass, More Nickelodeon Nostalgia, Books On-Demand

Blockbuster is back and ready to battle Netflix and Qwikster (with Blockbuster Movie Pass, a service that lets users stream content and rent movies and games-by-mail. Unlike Netflix which has split into two companies, the Blockbuster Movie Pass will allow viewers to watch content on both mediums through one subscription and for the same price as Netflix. Sounds appealing, especially to Millennials who are likely to want both options without paying two fees. However, we sense a fight as big as Facebook vs Google+ brewing) (TechCrunch)

- In another attempt to cater to nostalgic Millennials (Nickelodeon and retailer Johnny Cupcakes are selling an exclusive line of t-shirts featuring some of Gen Y’s favorite cartoon characters including SpongeBob Squarepants, CatDog, Rugrats, and Ren & Stimpy. We’re not sure if the clothing will be as popular as Nick’s retro programming since wearing animated characters on shirts seems a little childish, but then again, that’s the point of nostalgia, and it’s been working for the network) (Cynopsis)

- It’s a tough time for the book business (but there may be a solution to help bookstores and publishers alike: printing on-demand. Espresso Book Machines enable a book to be printed in a matter of minutes, which means shelves don’t have to be stocked for paperbacks to sell. HarperCollins is making 5,000 titles available in this format and we’re curious to see how consumers respond) (WSJ)

- We bet teen girls will be flocking to theaters this weekend to see ‘Twilight’ star Taylor Lautner in the film ‘Abduction’ (about a teenage boy who finds out his parents aren’t really his. You won’t find werewolves and vampires in this flick, but we think it will be popular nonetheless. Speaking of movies, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit is angered

 
 

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“I love reality TV shows. It's always fun to watch average people make themselves look foolish just for a shot at fame.”

—Female, 17, CA

“Bored kids” and “desperate parents” are the most likely to love their smart speakers. Nine out of ten children who own one say they enjoy their device, and 57% of all smart speaker owners with children admit entertaining their children was one of the reasons they opted for the purchase. Ypulse found 13-34-year-olds consider Amazon Alexa one of the “coolest tech products” so it’s no surprise smart speaker owners love their devices: 65% “would not want to go back to their lives before getting one,” 42% consider it an everyday “essential,” and over half of parents plan to purchase another. (Fast Company)

Plastic surgery is reportedly having a moment with Millennial men. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, of the over one-third of men who are “extremely likely” to consider cosmetic procedures, 58% are 25-34-years-old and 34% are 18-24-years-old. Some reasons they’re willing to go under the knife (or needle)? To boost their self-confidence, to appear less tired or stressed, and to stay competitive in their careers. Experts say social media and the self-care trend is making men more appearance-conscious. (Bloomberg)

Reading Rainbow is back and it’s all grown-up, just like its fans. The well-loved show's host, LeVar Burton, is picking up a book and laying down a podcast for his Millennial fans. He’ll be reading selected works of fiction and breaking down the themes just like in the old days, but he’s also adding a little something extra: his personal take on the tale. The only thing missing from the original PBS Kid’s show? The coveted chance to get on screen and read a review from your favorite story.

(Huffington Post)

Gen Z is thinking finances-first when making college decisions. Almost 80% consider the cost of an institution in their decision of where to attend, which makes sense considering over one in three are planning to pay for part or all their expenses. Avoiding the student loan debt that most Millennials know all too well is a key component of their finance-savvy thinking: 69% of teens are concerned about taking on loans, and the number of teens who plan to borrow has dropped 10% since 2016. (CSF)

Leisure and hospitality are the “hottest” jobs for teens this summer. A full 41% of teens went into leisure and hospitality last year, nearly double those that landed a wholesale and retail gig. Education and health services rounded out the top three, with all other industries claiming 5% or less of the summer teen workforce. When Ypulse asked teens where they’re planning to work this summer, restaurants and fast food jobs combined would land the top spot on the list. (Markets Insider)

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