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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Quote of the Day: “I get spending money from helping my neighbors with their computer problems.”—Male, 14, FL

Although controversial to some, influencer marketing isn’t going away any time soon. A new survey by influencer platform Linqia revealed that 94% of marketers across many industries believe influencer marketing to be effective, despite 78% saying that determining the ROI of the approach will be one of the top challenges of 2017. The top benefits cited were creating authentic content (87%), driving engagement (77%), and driving traffic to website (56%). (Adweek)

Vine stars are finding a new home on live stream app Live.ly. The app, a spin-off from the popular video network Musical.ly, generated half a million downloads in its first week by creating a platform where broadcasters can engage with viewers and stream as long as they like—and then there’s the money. According to Musical.ly, the top 10 broadcasters on the platform have made an average of $46,000 in the span of two weeks with a monetization model that lets users make contributions during streams. (Business Insider)

Self magazine is leaving print behind, and going all-digital. The publication has announced that February’s issue will be their last print production, and their new strategy will make them “uniquely positioned to give consumers more of what they love while creating innovative and engaging opportunities for our advertising partners.” The all-digital tactic is a first for a major Condé Nast magazine, and reflects the decreasing interest in print in the digital media era. (The Wall Street Journal)

Teens and kids are embracing tech even more than Millennials. A new Quizlet survey found that U.S. students 16-years-old and younger are 28% more likely than Millennials to say that technology helps them learn faster than traditional tools like worksheets and lectures. Their teachers were even more open to tech: they were 32% more likely than students to say learning tech is good use of classroom time, and 20% more likely to say devices make learning fun. (CNET)

Retirement may be on the outs. According to a Merrill Edge survey, 83% of “mass affluent” 18-34-year-olds say they will still work after they “retire,” “either for income, to keep busy, or to pursue a passion.” Getting to retirement will be a struggle in itself: Half of 18-24-year-olds and 24% of 24-34-year-olds say they will need a side job to reach their retirement savings goal, which three in four believe will be $1 million. (CNNMoney

Quote of the Day: “My favorite thing to do to have fun is stay at home and invite friends over.”—Male, 32, VA

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