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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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