International round-up: This Girl Can goes global, AB InBev expands into energy drinks

Plus Nielsen adds YouTube and Hulu to its traditional TV ratings, and SoundCloud closes its office in Australia.

This Girl Can moves to Australia

This Girl Can was a roaring success in the UK, winning numerous awards and inspiring 2.8 million women to get active. And it seems it has caught the eye of the Australian health community, which is taking the campaign down under.

The partnership between Sport England and Australia’s VicHealth will see the Australian health promotion foundation use the formula behind This Girl Can to create its own localised campaign. Work starts this month, as it looks to source stories of real women from the state of Victoria before launching nationally in February 2018.

Like the UK campaign, it aims to reduce the gender gap in exercise by helping women manage the fear of judgment. More than 41% of women over 25 in Victoria are too embarrassed to exercise in public, with one in five doing no physical activity in a typical week.

AB InBev expands into energy drinks with Hiball Energy buy

Global beer sales are largely flat, with megabrewers urgently looking at new ways to keep their profits up. Two-and-a half-years ago, Anheuser-Busch InBev began discussing a move into non-alcoholic beverages. These plans are now starting to take shape.

Earlier this week, the beer company announced its acquisition of San Francisco-based Hiball Energy, a maker of organic energy drinks and Alta Palla sparkling juices and waters. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hiball Energy organic drinks, made with ginseng, caffeine and B vitamins, and low-calorie low-sugar drinks from Alta Palla, are available in about 14,000 US retailers including CVS, Kroger and Whole Foods.

“I believe that with our support they, and now we, can accelerate that growth and bring their drinks to more customers in more places,” says AB InBev CEO João Castro Neves.

READ MORE: Anheuser-Busch buys drink maker Hiball Energy

Grab attracts $2.5bn investment to take on Uber

Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab is on a mission to disrupt Uber and its latest round of funding should help it achieve just that.

The company is now valued at more than $6bn. Grab said it would use the new funds to strengthen its position and invest in GrabPay, a mobile payments platform that it hopes to expand in markets with under-developed banking systems such as Indonesia.

Grab has expanded aggressively and, as of last month, was present in 65 cities compared with Uber’s 35, in a region of 10 countries that includes Myanmar and Vietnam. It currently claims to have a market share of 71% in private ride hailing in the region, with nearly three million daily rides.

READ MORE: Uber rival Grab rakes in $2.5bn in fresh investment

Nielsen adds YouTube and Hulu to traditional TV rating

Viewing habits are rapidly changing, and measurement firm Nielsen is determined to modernise its metrics.

Earlier this week, the company said it has begun counting viewership on new streaming TV services offered by Hulu and YouTube toward the official ratings for shows in the US.

It is its latest step to modernise measurement standards as digital consumption increases. Nielsen’s ratings had already included digital viewing from Sling TV and Sony ’s PlayStation Vue, as well as TV apps such as CBS All Access.

The Nielsen TV rating will only include Hulu and YouTube TV programming in which the ads that appear on digital platforms are the same as those that air on live TV.

“This is the first time we see major digital distribution platforms like Hulu and YouTube coming into the TV ratings,” says Megan Clarken, president of product leadership at Nielsen.

“We started investing in this capability three years ago. There are now more platforms that are becoming available for live streaming.”

READ MORE: Nielsen adds YouTube and Hulu skinny bundles to traditional TV rating

SoundCloud closes its office in Australia as it lays off 40% of staff

SoundCloud is set to close its Australian office this month, less than a year after it announced its intentions expand in the market and work with more brands.

The streaming service will be continue to be offered in Australia, but will not have a local presence.

The news comes after the company announced it was laying off 40% of its workforce earlier this month. Berlin-founded SoundCloud also had offices in the UK, Ireland and France, but only the Berlin and New York offices will remain. A total of 173 staff globally have lost jobs in the new cost-cutting measures.

According to The Verge, the business made its already “fragile” position worse by tactical mishaps. For example, SoundCloud was slower than its competitors to work out deals with major labels that would have attracted more listeners.

READ MORE: SoundCloud closes Australian office

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