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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

Being featured in the (racy) lyrics of Beyoncé’s hit single “Formation” has caused Red Lobster’s sales to spike 33%. But a wave of frustration hit Twitter after the brand took too long to respond to the song, and failed to live up to expectations. One user advised,“Yo @redlobster, all you have to do is NOT f*** up. Just give the Twitter over to your highest ranking Black person under 33. Trust me.” But after eight hours Red Lobster tweeted an underwhelming: "Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it,don't you think? #Formation @Beyonce.” The indecent highlights what young consumers expect from brands on social media. (MediaPostBuzzFeed)

The newly funded Stash investment app is hoping to “break down the barriers that prevent nearly three quarters of Millennials from investing.” To appeal to the risk-averse generation, the app allows users to invest as little as $5, and describes investments in easy theme-like terms, like “Clean and Green.” For the founders it’s all about setting up users for the long-term: “By lowering the minimum level of investment, enabling Millennials to invest in broad themes that they care about, and guiding them along the path toward building smart lifelong investment habits, Stash has the potential to empower an entire generation to reach their financial goals.” (Business Wire)

Fit has gone glam for Millennials—and not just in the U.S. Young Chinese women are embracing working out, and shifting traditional beauty ideals. In a 2003 survey, 1,000 working females cited an ideal body to be "an almost-emaciated, willowy physique," but social media and celebrity influence, as well as more awareness to physical health, are making strength the new goal. Women sharing their fitness journeys are becoming major influencers and creating new personal brands, and the fitness industry in China has grown 13% yearly since 2010. (Refinery29)

ESports—multi-player competitive video gaming—is expected to generate $463 million in ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorships, and advertising for 2016, and networks want a piece of the action. But can it translate to TV? TBS is premiering E-League, a 10-week eSports competition series that will stand as a true test on whether the phenomenon can “find the right balance between achieving scale and retaining its core audience of digitally forward young men.” Critics have good reason to be skeptical: ESPN2’s airing of an eSports college competition perplexed viewers, frustrated broadcasters, and scored a 0.1 Nielsen rating. (Adweek

British director Anthony Wilcox’s new action-packed thriller,Shield 5, is captivating audiences—the Instagram audience that is. The series, which currently has 30,000 followers, is being called “social cinema,” and each episode is the length of an Instagram video: just 15-seconds. Wilcox’s love for fast-turnaround projects and very low budget is what ultimately inspired him to choose the platform. There was also the potential to go viral: "If you’ve got the opportunity to show your work to a much, much bigger audience…all around the world, it might be worth trying it." (Fast Company

Quote of the Day: “I share my selfies by making it my profile picture.” —Female, 23, IL

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