Ypulse Essentials: Google Music, Digital Distraction, Macy's AR Version Of Virginia

GoogleMusicLast night, Google announced that its Music service (is out of beta and open to the world at large. So far, the Web has been unimpressed by the service, claiming it’s just a copy of iTunes with its exclusive tracks and free songs of the week. But TechCrunch points out that while that may seem to be true, so was Gmail a copy of other email services, but it’s been a huge success because of how the product matured. There are a few aspects of Google Music that we think are particularly relevant to young users… It allows bands — any band — to sell its music on its site, so students can even find that obscure band that they discovered at that tiny show on campus. Music discovery is important to young listeners; it’s a point of pride when they know an artist before their friends do. And don’t discount the significant number of young people who have Android-based smartphones — 26% of students per recent Ypulse research, compared to 25% who have iPhones — who will now have access to the Google Music store in the Android Market. And then there’s the price tag for the service: Free!) (The Verge) (HispanicAd)

- More than three quarters of college students (use digital devices while watching TV. We’re not surprised at all with so many tweeting and posting on Facebook — not to mention checking in to media — while watching TV. And of course that proportion will grow even larger as networks and shows encourage viewers to engage with related content online. Speaking of social viewing, Chill.com, known as the Turntable.com for video, has added integrations with Hulu, Vevo, Livestream, and more, allowing users avatars to have social chats about the content they’re watching. The site still has rooms for VJs to spin videos from YouTube and earn points) (MediaPost) (Mashable)

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“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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