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: “My favorite online celebrity is Jenna Marbles because she is hilarious and weird. I like how honest she is.”

— Female, 22, CA

Millennials are looking for multicultural products. According to a new Harris poll, over eight in ten 18-34-year-olds say they love exposure to different cultures, and about 32% say that purchasing and consuming foods with “multicultural flavors” is very important, compared to 27% of 35-44-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds. Almost half of Millennials also say they’re willing to spend more on brands that understand multicultural needs, and 65% agree they’re more likely to shop with a retailer that offers a wide selection of multicultural products.
(Drug Store News

National Geographic Kids is joining the chatbot revolution with a T-Rex bot. Tina the T-Rex is one of the latest bots to join Facebook Messenger, and was created to answer kids’ questions about dinosaurs. Tina’s ultimate goal is to sell subscriptions—she prompts users to sign up for the magazine at the end of conversations—and to let the brand get “into the mindset of its readers,” to form more personal relationships. Since Facebook accounts are limited to 13-year-old and older, National Geographic Kids hopes that, like their magazine, parents will use the bot along with their kids. (Digiday

Universal has discovered the “magic formula” to bring in Millennial dollars. According to a Foursquare analysis of foot traffic to theme parks, market share for Universal’s parks increased from 11% to 15-16% between 2014 to 2016, and almost half of the visitors during that time were 18-34-year-olds. Wizards and zombies are reportedly drawing in Millennials: Universal’s 2014 launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter spurred a 25% increase in visits mostly from Millennials for several weeks, and a recently opened Walking Dead attraction bought in 35% more Millennials than usual. (Skift

Brands who have jumped into VR may be making a very smart investment. A new survey from Greenlight VR reveals that over half of adult consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR over a brand that doesn’t, most likely because 71% believe brands that use the technology seem more "forward-thinking and modern." Even consumers who have yet to try VR “had good things to say about the technology:” over nine in ten report “positive feelings” after watching an informational video on VR, 65% say they are interested in trying it, and 32% are surprised with its capabilities. (Adweek

GoldieBlox is continuing to go digital to spread the fundamentals of coding to kids. The educational brand “best known for its line of engineering toys aimed at young girls,” has launched their first paid app, GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding. The puzzle-centric game follows Goldie, a young engineer delivering cupcakes, and asks players to “execute a sequence of commands,” to get her from one destination to another. The company has begun splitting their product development efforts between physical and digital, because “kids are spending increasingly more time playing on devices.” (TechCrunch

Quote of the Day: “You want me to list every concert I’ve been to in the past year? Are you nuts? I've been to like 30 so far this year.”

—Male, 29, NY

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