Chloe Kim just chose Hulu over Netflix, and she’s onto something

6 days ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends
Image via Chloe Kim's Twitter Account (https://twitter.com/chloekimsnow)

By now you’ve heard of Olympic halfpipe snowboarding phenom Chloe Kim. She’s the 17 year-old snowboarder from Long Beach, CA who became the youngest woman to ever win an Olympic snowboarding medal.

She’s also the darling of new media, old media, social media, advertisers, sponsors, and virtually anyone alive. Literally everyone loves her. And that’s good, because she’s pretty awesome.

She’s also got some serious business savvy for a 17 year-old. Already sponsored by big brands Toyota, Nike, Burton Snowboards, and sweets company Mondelez, we fully expect that number to skyrocket in the coming weeks as brands look to associate themselves with this rising star.

In a recent rapid-fire interview with CNBC, Chloe may have made some unintentional endorsements when she was asked to pick between brands, one of which got us thinking about the future of streaming services.

When asked “Under Armour or Nike?”, Kim responded “Nike” without hesitation. The good news is that she’s already sponsored by Nike. She chose wisely in that case.

But then CNBC followed up with some other brands. Among the choices, Chloe chose Star Wars over Star Trek. She also chose dogs over cats. And then to the Netflix vs. Hulu question, Kim chose Hulu.

Hulu?

While both content streaming services are giants in the industry, in this case, Chloe chose the underdog. Netflix currently claims 43,276,342 Facebook likes compared to Hulu’s 2,836,763. That’s a wide gap.

Hulu also has a much smaller workforce than that of Netflix according to our data on LinkedIn profiles.

But Chloe may be on to something here: Movie giant Disney recently acquired the majority of 21st Century Fox. This means that Disney ($NYSE:DIS) now owns 60 percent of Hulu, because before the deal, both Fox and Disney owned 30 percent of Hulu respectively.

You don’t need us to tell you what an entertainment giant Disney is.

And Disney's recent moves may paint a very interesting and textured picture of the future when it comes to what may be an upcoming Hulu + Disney vs. Netflix war for subscriptions.

That’s because Disney has been pretty clear recently that it plans to take on Netflix in 2019, or at the very least compete for viewers' money and time. Last summer, Disney announced its plans to launch a streaming service of its own. This means that franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar (not to mention its own healthy catalog of movies and TV shows) will likely be pulled from Netflix and streamed on Disney’s services including - you guessed it - Hulu.

Disney’s Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Mayer - who sits on Hulu’s board of directors - recently said that their new streaming service isn’t designed to kill Netflix. However, he did say that will soon be a “big, profitable service.”

Those could be the words of someone coaxing his prey to sleep before the big kill.

Good eyes, Chloe. Good eyes.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes about tech and lifestyle for the Wall Street Journal. You can find him on twitter at @fruhlinger

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