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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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