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 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)

“Everybody loves Drake. People that claim to not like Drake don't know themselves well enough.”

—Female, 21, CA

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