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

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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