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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Quote of the Day: “When deciding what products to buy, what’s most valuable to me is reviews from users regardless of whether or not I know them.”—Female, 32, MA

Adidas is continuing to take customization to the next level, with a new pop-up store that creates custom clothes in a majorly futuristic way. Knit For You, located in Berlin uses a laser body scanner to determine exact measurements for their personalized merino wool sweaters. To select their design, shoppers go into a dark room where patterns that can be adjusted with hand gestures are projected on their chests. The final chosen product is then knitted, washed, and dried in-store to be picked up in hours, for the price of $215. (Business Insider

BuzzFeed’s wildly popular food platform Tasty is expanding into the coffee business. In a partnership with NBCUniversal, Tasty has begun selling Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee beans, and of course, they’re “offer[ing] a quiz to help with decision making.” Quiz-takers will be asked about their favorite fruit, how they feel about caffeine, what their ideal morning is like, and more, to which they can answer with emojis. Once the coffee choice is made, consumers can make it even more personal by creating their own labels. (Grub Street)  

Chinese Millennials are using digital devices for “connection, discovery and actualization,” more often than their American counterparts. A recent global survey from Labbrand found that 85% of Chinese Millennials are using their phones to make in-store payments on a weekly basis, compared to 44% of U.S. Millennials. They’re also more likely to broadcast their behavior online: Over seven in ten Chinese Millennials are posting movie, restaurant, travel, and other activity-related reviews weekly and over half say they share everything they do online, compared to 44% and 28% of U.S. Millennials respectively. (ReadITQuik

What cities are Millennial homebuyers flocking to? According to an analysis by LendingTree, the top three are Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Des Moines, Iowa—based on mortgage requests by those 35 and under. The online loan company says that on average 36.1% of all their mortgage requests came from the age group, a slight increase from the year before, which they say is “thanks to a stronger jobs market and overall economy.” They expect to see more young buyers looking for homes as financial situations keep improving. (Yahoo FinanceCredit.com

YouTube is being criticized for filtering LGBTQ content. Recently, YouTube creators have discovered that some content featuring LGBTQ titles and themes are being filtered when users enable “Restricted Mode” to screen out “potentially objectionable content.” YouTuber Neon Fiona pointed to her own page as evidence, citing that videos with “girlfriend” in the title were filtered under the mode, but videos with “boyfriend” in the title were not. Not all LGBTQ content is filtered and one YouTuber observes, “This is something that no one’s really sure how it’s working.” (Tubefilter

Quote of the Day: “When I was watching the Super Bowl, I switched the channel or left the room when it was a commercial break.”—Male, 27, MN

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