YouTube is growing again and this time with the launch of the Merch Store (…a feature that lets users purchase digital downloads, artist merchandise, concert tickets, and more directly from musicians’ channels. We bet Millennials will make use of this platform since they’re always online and can’t live without music. According to our recent research, 71% of students download music legally, so the Merch Store will make it even easier for them to do so. Speaking of YouTube, the video-sharing site wants companies to spend more of their advertising budget on viral videos as this medium can build brands just as much as television spots) (Tech Crunch) (NY Times)

Millennials grew up focused on extracurriculars and achieving success (but as the latest issue of NY Magazine explains, they’ve faced some harsh realities as they enter the career world during the recession. Although times are bleak and many post-grads are struggling to support themselves, they’re still a determined and hopeful group, more self-confident than generations before them. They may be facing steep unemployment rates, but they find happiness in other ways besides work. They’re less focused on material possessions and value the culture and lifestyle they have where entertainment is easily accessible and they can always be connected. Most of all, they’re tough and know they’ll be alright)

College students are key consumers (which is why brands are increasing their presence on campus in hopes of securing them as future customers. Companies are doing everything from recruiting student brand ambassadors to offering incentives since college-age kids can form lifelong opinions of a brand before entering the real world. Speaking of college, check out how schools are using Facebook as a marketing tool to communicate with students. In fact, 82% of colleges have Facebook pages, and as this infographic shows, the social network can help enhance students’ experiences. A whopping 60% of students are Facebook friends with faculty members and presumably communicate with them online, and active Facebook users are more likely to stay in college) (Ad Age) (Mashable) (AllFacebook)

With Bullying Awareness Month well underway (anti-bullying campaigns are popping up everywhere and we hope all the initiatives will help drastically reduce the problem. GLAAD and the American Federation of Teachers have teamed up to release a series of “Amplify Your Voice” PSAs against LGBTQ bullying. The videos feature a slew of celebrities who support the cause including “Glee’s” Naya Rivera, “Modern Family’s” Ariel Winter, and the girls of “Pretty Little Liars,” as well as clips of teens who’ve been bullied. Cartoon Network is working with Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster to promote anti-bullying books, “Sesame Street” is addressing the topic in a special episode that airs tonight, and My Life My Power is releasing a PSA in 3D)  (The Wrap) (Kidscreen) (JustJaredJr)

MTVU, the 24-hour channel that’s available at hundreds of colleges and universities, is launching ‘Quiet Culture,‘ (a series about deaf culture featuring four students at Gallaudet University. The powerful, upcoming show will depict their college lives, educating viewers on what it’s like to be hard of hearing or deaf. We think this program will be an awakening for students, just like ABC Family’s series “Switched at Birth” which also discusses this subject) (MTV)

Video gaming is on the rise for today’s kids, tweens, and teens (as 91% play games. We’re not exactly surprised with this high percentage since apps can be taken anywhere thanks to tablets and smartphones, but interestingly enough kids and their parents spent more overall on physical games so far this year than they did on apps) (MediaPost)

We’re loving Justin Bieber’s new song “Mistletoe” from his upcoming holiday album (and we bet it’ll be on millions of girls’ wishlists this year. But if that’s not enough to get you in the holiday spirit, then seeing Biebs perform alongside Lady Gaga on “Dick Clark’s Rocking’ New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” certainly will! It’s going to be the most epic new years for teens) (The Hollywood Reporter)