Ypulse Essentials: Spotify Radio Revamped, Google Currents, Video Streaming Updates

Spotify just got even cooler with an enhanced version of Spotify Radio (which lets users create unlimited stations by artist, track, or genre, receive recommendations with an improved feature, and skip as many songs as they wish. This should make listening to music and discovering artists a whole lot easier…watch out Pandora! In other music news, iTunes just released their top songs of the year and we’re not surprised that hits from Adele, LMFAO, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Cee-Lo Green were the top downloads since they also ruled the Billboard charts with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” being the #1 song on both lists! Other Millennial-favored content also topped the other categories on iTunes’ list with Angry Birds as the top paid iPhone/iPad app and “The Social Network” as the best-selling movie) (Mashable) (Spin) (Billboard) (Seattle Times)

Google is the latest company to launch a news aggregation app for mobile devices (aptly called Google Currents. Similar to Flipboard and other newsstand-style apps, Google Currents pulls content from hundreds of sources, letting users customize their own online news magazine. We now have a new favorite way to check out Forbes, Fast Company, and The Daily Beast, which come preloaded on the app) (Digital Spy)

- Amazon Prime has struck back in the battle of the streaming services (by adding current and past episodes of “Glee” and “Sons of Anarchy” to its instant viewing offering. But Hulu also launched a cool feature called Face Match, where viewers can scroll over a character in a video to identify the actor and what he or she has been in. Think IMDB but while you’re watching. We wonder if more streaming services will pick up on this feature…) (Hollywood Reporter) (TechRadar)

Nickelodeon is taking vending machines to a whole new…

 
 

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“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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