Ypulse Essentials: Spotify Finally Launches In The U.S., 'Harry Potter' Breaks Records, Netflix Goes 3D

SpotifyFinally! We’re thrilled that Spotify, the music service beloved by Brits (has made its way across the pond at last. Starting today — following a deal on Wednesday with Warner Bros. Music to secure all four major labels — users can sign up for limited free access, a $4.99 ad-free service, or a $9.99 premium mobile service) (Mashable) (Billboard)

- ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ has yet to be released in the U.S. (but it’s already breaking sales records for pre-sale ticket at $32 million…Anyone want to take a shot at predicting it’s opening weekend box office take? Lest we underestimate the significance of the “Harry Potter” series, Salon offers a slide show of what it has given to pop culture. MTV recently pitted “Harry Potter” characters against each other and asked fans to vote to determine which is the greatest of all time. Their verdict? Severus Snape) (Cynopsis) (GalleyCat)

- Despite the kerfuffle over Netflix’s new pricing plan (here’s a move that users won’t complain about: Netflix is rolling out an app for Nintendo’s 3DS and plans to add a slate 3D movies to its offerings in the near future) (Wired) (Gawker)

- Smartphone owning teens’ mobile dependence (is based on their use of texting, accessing Facebook, and listening to music. With their phones capable of all this and more, it makes it even harder for marketers to cut through the clutter and get their attention on their mobile devices) (MediaPost)

- Kids LiveWell is the latest intiative (to address children’s eating habits. Chain restaurants are getting on board by agreeing to offer healthier menu options — low calorie, low fat, low sodium — for kids. Nearly 20 chain restaurants have voluntarily adopted the initiative, including Burger King, Au Bon Pain, Bonefish Grill, and more; McDonald’s is…

 
 

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“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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