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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Quote of the Day: “There are better things to spend my money on [than luxury products], so unless we are talking about luxury experiences, I'm not spending money on them right now.”

—Female, 30, CA

As we predicted, there’s still hope for in-store shopping. According to a Forrester retail expert and analyst, U.S. retail revenue is expected to reach $3.4 trillion this year, and only 9% is expected to be online. Because consumers still value the ability to “touch and feel products,” retailers with “solid go-to-market strategies,” like Sephora with their digital solutions and Ulta with their unique shopping experience, stand to benefit the most. He reports that only those retailers “struggling to connect with consumers” are closing stores. (MediaPost

Will Instagram take Snapchat’s place as a marketing star of 2017? The platform, which boasts 150 million daily users, is now letting brands incorporate full screen ads to the Snapchat-inspired Stories feature, and companies like Capital One, ASOS, Nike, Buick, and Airbnb are already on board. According to the VP of Instagram Business, brands will be able to target specific audiences through the feature, and one-third of the app’s top stories have been from businesses. (Adweek

LGBT self-identification is rising in the U.S., with Millennials leading the way. According to a Gallup survey, 4.1% of U.S. adults, or about 10 million people, now identify as LGBT—an increase from 3.5% in 2012. Millennials account for almost 60% of that number, most likely because they are “first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased.” Our Genreless Generation trend, revealed that Millennials and teens are more comfortable with blending and bending categories, and celebrating new combinations than ever before. (NYMag)

The Binge Effect has inspired Disney to try out the Netflix model. For the premiere of Beyond on Millennial-focused network Freeform, all 10 episodes were released online with fewer ads than shown on TV—a first for the channel. The series, about a young man who discovers he has superpowers after awakening from a 12-year coma, drew in 14.2 million viewers in its first week, with almost half watching online. (Bloomberg

Millennials are skipping YouTube ads, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. An analysis by LaunchLeap revealed that 59% of Millennials are skipping YouTube’s TrueView ads—those that advertisers only pay for if they are watched to completion. On the other hand, 29% are watching ads to completion—better engagement than on Snapchat. And they’re paying attention: a Google and Ipsos study found that attention paid to YouTube ads is 84% higher than advertising on TV. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: "I binge-watch content to spend time with my spouse.”—Female, 32, OK 

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