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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“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)

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—Female, 23, CA

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