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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “When a brand can adapt to all shoppers, it makes me trust them more.”

—Female, 24, MI

A startup is leveraging angry tweets to let brands find new consumers, and engineer some incredibly personalized marketing. Customer service listening tool SocialRank Realtime allows brands to view a dashboard of tweets from consumers “who might be fans of theirs in the future.” For example, after viewing a tweet from a potential consumer about a flight delay, an airport restaurant might send over a cup of coffee to their location. The tool touts its ability to let brands to create “real relationships” with consumers and has already signed on Juicy Couture and Aéropostale. (Business Insider)  

Teens are watching influencers on YouTube, but what are the teen influencers watching? According to an Influenster survey of 14-51-year-old “tastemaker consumers,” 93% of 14-18-year-old influencers are watching product reviews—compared to 86% of overall respondents. Haul videos came in next in popularity at 76% (24% more than overall), followed by unboxing videos at 71% (19% more than overall). Seven in ten teen influencers are also watching YouTube videos at least once a day, and 42% say they can watch between six to 15 per sitting. (eMarketer

Pokémon Go is still going. The revolutionary game, which attracted 500 million users in eight weeks last summer, has made an estimated $1 billion in the last seven months and reports “a very large level” of users. The second version of the game will soon be released, with 80 new monsters to catch—which is good news for brands. According to the CEO of Niantic Labs, the game will soon be integrating ads that fit in organically to the platform, and the game’s partnership with Starbucks on a Pokémon Go beverage “opened a lot of people’s eyes to start imagining other cool things that you can do.” (Adweek

Wattpad is the latest company getting into storytelling via text messages. The social publishing platform has launched mobile app Tap, where readers can discover “chat-style” stories across genres like horror, romance, drama and more. Although fiction app Hooked and kid-targeted Amazon Rapids takes a similar approach, Tap is the only one that takes a “voyeuristic” angle, giving readers the feeling that they’re reading through someone else’s chat messages—a move that can appeal to teenagers and young adults. (TechCrunch

Nordstrom is going above and beyond the “typical department store” offerings to reach young consumers. Earlier this week, the retailer launched the Lab—an incubator venture that showcases indie, new designers with “completely different audiences, messages, and points of view.” Each season will bring a new crop of designers, and according to the retailer, new stories: “It's the full package — who is the designer, what is their story, what do they stand for, why are they doing what they are doing, who is it for. There’s an authenticity [in that].” (Racked

Quote of the Day: “For my engagement ring, I want a tattoo. No ring.”—Female, 30, AZ

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