Ypulse Essentials: The Grammys Were Flat, Getting Serious About Streaming TV, More 'Hunger Games' News

There were few surprises at the Grammy Awards this year, including Adele taking home (six awards, winning in every category in which she was nominated. The Grammys tried to reach out to a young audience with a showcase of electronica music, which has been a rising music genre. Meanwhile, the rock music category didn’t feel much like rock at all, with it’s soft, toned-down nominees, making us wonder if true rock and roll really exists anymore. One of the few surprises was when Taylor Swift didn’t take home the award for Best Country Album. We also weren’t big fans of the show’s “country bumpkin” approach to her music, which would have only been worse with live animals and having her black out one of her teeth. So yeah, we’re calling this Grammy show a miss… At least the lack of surprises means this year no one’s asking, “What’s an Arcade Fire?”) (Billboard) (LA Times) (WaPo)

- Amazon is getting ready to add original programming to its slate of offerings (putting itself in direct competition with Netflix and Hulu, as well as the cable industry. Some networks and shows are starting to take online video seriously, recognizing it as a complement to regular programming. There’s still a fear of cannibalization of the regular viewing audience, but it looks like networks might finally understand that Millennials’ busy social schedules often keep them from the shows they love and they want an option for streaming the shows on their own time) (AllThingsD) (WSJ, reg required)

- As our hysteria for ‘The Hunger Games’ continues, we can’t wait to watch the music video for one of the songs in the movie (“Safe and Sound” by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, which premieres tonight on MTV at 7:54pm, but in the meantime, catch a sneak preview here! We’re also eager to read the many movie tie-in books…

 
 

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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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