Ypulse Essentials: RIP Microsoft KIN, Facebook Fatigue, CW Jump Starts Fall Lineup

kinWhat killed the KIN (Price points? Botched marketing? Functionality issues? Wired says all of the above led to the demise of the social networking phone, which Microsoft says will not launch in Europe as planned as part of a new strategy to focus on the Windows 7 phone. More post-mortem analysis on Ad Age, reg. required. Meanwhile Apple makes meeting Millennial mobile needs look easy, adding a second camera lens for self-portraits to the new iPhone) (ars technica) (New York Times, reg. required)

- Madonna’s daughter turns fashion blogger (to promote the Material Girl line for Macy’s. But is it ‘4 realz’? Gawker says the “tween LOLz patois.. is so rampant it must be fake.” And speaking of the commodification of youth culture, check out this essay on the new-model teen from PopMatters)

- MTV inks deal with Warner Music Group (for exclusive rights to ads around the music videos of thousands of Warner artists. Also Doug Akin of Mr. Youth reports back from the Bonnaroo music festival with lessons on what makes event sponsorship ‘epic’) (Clickz) (MediaPost, reg. required)

- One in five teens show signs of ‘Facebook Fatigue’ (A survey of 600 teens from online gaming site Roiworld show more signs of waning interest. Look for what our own Ypulse Research has to say on this coming soon) (Mashable)

- Mountain Dew taps skate shops (for a chance to have their designs featured on limited-edition packaging and posted on GreenLabelArt.com. And Seth Green teams with Nintendo to appear in new ads for “Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies”) (MediaPost, reg. required)

- CW gets a head start on fall programming (debuting most of its lineup more than a week ahead other networks. And over on Salon, day pass required, tough questions for “Real World” creator Jonathan Murray on returning to New…

 
 

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“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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