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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Quote of the Day: “My favorite brand on social media is Complex, because it's more of an online network that reports on urban culture.”

—Male, 23, MI

Luxury watch brands are innovating to cater to what could be their biggest opportunity: Generation Z. A September 2016 survey from Mintel found one in five 16-24-year-olds reported they were thinking of buying a watch “in the coming months,” and that “the young are the biggest buyers of all age groups.” As a result, watch brands are taking marketing online. Omega says that social media is not part of their marketing strategy but “the way [they] communicate.” (Financial Times)  

A group of moms is making hijabs for Barbie to battle Islamophobia. Created through a partnership with the non-profit For Good, Hello Hijab sells $6 handmade headscarves for dolls, available April 1st, along with a card explaining what the accessory is. As one founder explains, the aim is for a more inclusive generation: “They will see it as a kind memory from their playtime, and then they will grow into a kinder generation…used to playing with dolls that look different to them.” Profits from the new doll accessory will go to support multicultural communities. (RT)

Netflix is winning the “steaming wars”—at least on home TV sets. comScore’s analysis into video streamed over Wi-Fi to televisions in U.S. homes found Netflix’s penetration is around 40%, while YouTube, the next most-used service, was less than 30%. Both Amazon and Hulu are far behind at below 20%, but the latter was found to have engagement rates on par with Netflix: “People who do use [them] use [them] a lot…Both services engage their users for more than 25 hours a month.” (Recode)

Chipotle wants to "slyly” promote kids’ healthy food habits with an unbranded video series. RAD Lands, available for purchase on iTunes, follows “the Cultivators” as they try to save the galaxy’s animals and plants, and features cooking segments with celebrity chefs and musical appearances by the likes of Biz Markie and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. Described as an “entertainment Trojan horse,” the series is all about educating the next generation while also making a play to win back consumers after the brand’s food-related illness issue. (Ad Age

Airbnb is launching Aibiying, a new brand to target Chinese Millennials. The company’s research has shown an increase of 142% of travel out of China in 2016, and 80% of their users in the country are under 35. The young travelers are also a “lucrative market” according to one expert: "Chinese Millennials are likely to travel farther afield -- and to spend more while traveling—as their disposable incomes and appetite for adventure grow." Aibiying, which translates to "Welcome each other with love,” will include the brand’s latest “Trips” and “Experiences” features. (Inc.

Quote of the Day: “Budweiser ads are memorable because they pull at the heart strings with the horses and dogs.”—Female, 22, CA

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