Trends & News

Spotify Radio Revamped, Google Currents, Video Streaming Updates

Spotify just got even cooler with an enhanced version of Spotify Radio (which lets users create unlimited stations by artist, track, or genre, receive recommendations with an improved feature, and skip as many songs as they wish. This should make listening to music and discovering artists a whole lot easier…watch out Pandora! In other music news, iTunes just released their top songs of the year and we’re not surprised that hits from Adele, LMFAO, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Cee-Lo Green were the top downloads since they also ruled the Billboard charts with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” being the #1 song on both lists! Other Millennial-favored content also topped the other categories on iTunes’ list with Angry Birds as the top paid iPhone/iPad app and “The Social Network” as the best-selling movie) (Mashable) (Spin) (Billboard) (Seattle Times)

Google is the latest company to launch a news aggregation app for mobile devices (aptly called Google Currents. Similar to Flipboard and other newsstand-style apps, Google Currents pulls content from hundreds of sources, letting users customize their own online news magazine. We now have a new favorite way to check out Forbes, Fast Company, and The Daily Beast, which come preloaded on the app) (Digital Spy)

Amazon Prime has struck back in the battle of the streaming services (by adding current and past episodes of “Glee” and “Sons of Anarchy” to its instant viewing offering. But Hulu also launched a cool feature called Face Match, where viewers can scroll over a character in a video to identify the actor and what he or she has been in. Think IMDB but while you’re watching. We wonder if more streaming services will pick up on this feature…) (Hollywood Reporter) (TechRadar)

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Nickelodeon is taking vending machines to a whole new level with the virtual Nick Toy Machine (which will debut at 100 Simon Malls this weekend. Shoppers go up to the machine to view images of Nickelodeon’s Victorious and Dora the Explorer toys, scan the accompanying QR code, and purchase items using their smartphone that will be delivered to their house. While it’s a creative concept, we think this makes shopping slightly more difficult than it has to be. For starters, kids haven’t show an interested in or aptitude for QR codes, and if they want to do mobile shopping, it’s probably easier to do so directly from a website without having to scan a QR code. Also, unlike the appeal of vending machines, consumers don’t get the toy instantly) (Cynopsis Kids)

Rejoice ’90s kids, Lisa Frank is back with brand new designs (that make us nostalgic for the days when our school supplies were covered in rainbow unicorns, purple penguins, and magenta dolphins. But what if you could wear these awesome designs? Behold: Lisa Frank clothing! The pop artist launched a line of neon clothes that doesn’t quite rival her Trapper Keepers with puppies. But we’re loving all these retro revivals as Millennials long for simpler times. In other fashion news, designers, like brands, are creating more social campaigns to engage and reward customers. The latest one from Marc Jacobs, called “MarcFam,” urges online fans to share holiday photos or pictures related to the label on Instagram, Twitter, and Foursquare and tag it with #MarcFam. All of the images will be included in a Marc Jacobs album on the website and the owners of the top pictures — determined by users — will score Marc Jacobs swag) (MTV) (MediaPost) (Trendhunter)

And the latest pop culture perfume is… (America’s Next Top Model! Yeah, we were a little confused too, but the scent, which is targeted at late-teens to 30-somethings, encourages females to make their dreams come true. It seems like there’s Millennial-targeted scents everywhere we turn these days, but according to our recent research, they are fairly popular with 34% of girls purchasing them and Justin Bieber’s “Someday” even winning Fragrance of the Year) (Gawker) (Hollywood Life)

Check out the five books the YALSA selected as the finalists (for the William C. Morris Award, which is given to the best book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. Everything from fantasy to historial fiction is in the running for this top award)

And now for a little Friday fun… (Isaiah Mustafa aka the Old Spice guy who took the social media world by storm is at it again, but this time with a week-long campaign called Old Spice MANta Claus, which is equally as hilarious as his previous vids. Isaiah is in the holiday spirit attempting to give 7 billion people presents and holiday joy. Check out the Old Spice YouTube Channel to see the videos he’s posted so far) (PSFK)

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