Ypulse Essentials: Xbox Is The Future Of TV, Google+'s 17%, Sony's Pre-Release Digital Downloads

Xbox Live Microsoft is billing its upgrade of the Xbox Live platform (as the “future of TV.” The new user interface comes with a wealth of content from video partners, including 26 live channels from Verizon Fios, thousands of On Demand options from Comcast, apps for networks like Syfy, an improved Netflix app, and a new YouTube app. Oh, and there’s also cloud storage for a better video experience, as well as to enable users to access their media on any Xbox they sign into. The Xbox is looking less and less like a gaming device, and more like a media server on steroids. The update officially rolls out to users tomorrow. Here’s a walk through showing the interface and improved voice controls. This system is definitely built with Millennials in mind. Of course, Apple is also planning to revolutionize the home screen with iTV. There’s not doubt that Apple wins having iTunes vs. Microsoft’s Zune, but Xbox has an advantage with 56 million Xboxes out there already. Who do you think will win the war?) (VentureBeat) (The Verge) (Advance TV)

- Here’s an infographic about Google+ users (but the most interesting stat by far is that a mere 17% of those with accounts on the site are active users. Time for a new catch phrase: We are the 83%... In other social media news, Facebook has reportedly acquired Gowalla, a social check-in site similar to Foursquare, which means it may have plans to make its Places Deals revolution a reality) (PR Daily) (Telegraph)

- Hailee Steinfeld may not have landed the role of Katniss in ‘Hunger Games’ (but she’s won another coveted role in Hollywood: that of Petra Arkanian in the film adaptation of “Ender’s Game,” the story of future children being groomed to lead Earth’s army in an epic interstellar battle. Elsewhere in movie news, Sony has announced it will be making another…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I was completely invested in Breaking Bad, it took a simple everyday man and slowly dehumanized him through choices that an individual in real life could have possibly made or gone through.”—Male, 22, NJ

The creators of livestreaming pioneer Meerkat made a new app in secret—and it’s doing great. Houseparty is a group video chat platform designed to “capture some of the spirit of Meerkat but in a more personal way that encourages users to participate.” Users can create or join “rooms” to video chat with friends, and are warned if an unknown mutual friend joins the group. The app opens to a camera like Snapchat, is “sprinkled liberally” with emojis, and has already generated almost 1 million mostly teenage users during its testing phase. (Mashable)

Neiman Marcus is in full support of the "see now, buy now" retail strategy some brands have been adopting to keep up with impatient young consumers. The retailer has seen sales decline for fourth straight quarters, and is citing an “out-of-sync fashion cycle” as a crucial part of their troubles. Now that just launched collections are "blogged and broadcasted all over the world via social media," and fast fashion retailers are “delivering trends before ‘authentic runway looks are delivered to stores,’” the retailer is encouraging their vendors to deliver products quickly after release to keep up. (Fashionista

Club Med knows not all Millennials are “frugal single travelers.” The travel brand, “where all the cool kids went in the 70s and 80s,” is now setting their sights on affluent Millennial parents who travel. Spending $1.5 billion in facilities upgrades, Club Med now offers “zen oases,” where “parents to briefly recuperate away from their kids” and escape the pressures of work and home. They also are focusing on the experiential aspect of their brand, adjusting their website to allow visitors to experience their trips digitally before their buy. (Skift)

Kano, one of the first and most unique toys to teach kids coding, is heading back to the Kickstarter to promote three new programmable do-it-yourself kits. Their new products focus on a toy coming “to life when it responds to its environment," and includes a Pixel display that can be taught to display different colors and shapes in response to sounds. The brand’s target market is 8-14-year-olds, but they aim to make it “simple for anyone in the world to make, hack, create, manipulate, and warp technology as it is to use it today." (Fast Company)

Marketing to the post-Millennial generation is all about getting creative, and serving ads through sponsored content is resonating strongly with teens who fully understand it’s a marketing strategy. When AwesomenessTV looked into their popular series Royal Crush—which takes place on a cruise ship and is sponsored by Royal Caribbean—they found that is was 30% more efficient than TV. But one form of traditional advertising is still effective: sampling. To promote their moon sneakers and hot sauce, GE toured colleges to target engineering students. (Adweek

Quote of the Day:  “Young and Hungry are short 30 minute shows, so I can watch it on my lunch breaks at work. I like the humor and the characters. The story line is easy to follow. It's an easy show to binge watch.”—Female, 20, WS

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