Streaming is the present and future of TV. With so many people turning to on demand streaming services for movies, series, and television, we see that the future is already here.
When streaming became a thing back in the 2000s, Netflix was the only option which is no longer the case now. Today, you have many apps for streamers, so deciding which is right for you can be tricky.
It is impossible to proclaim the ultimate winner in the Hulu vs Netflix battle. However, the two apps for streamers' basic premise are the same but different in many other ways. This comes down to several factors, like what shows you wish to watch, how much money you are willing to spend on streaming, how many simultaneous streams you need, and many more.
Some subscribers may have to choose to drop one over the other. However, this blog covers everything you want about the main streaming apps, Netflix and Hulu.
Let’s look at the pros and cons and a detailed comparison of Hulu and Netflix to decide which is more suitable for you.
Netflix: Watch TV Shows, Movies Online
Netflix is a subscription-based video streaming service that requires a Netflix account and allows its members to watch movies and TV shows on an internet-connected device. It was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and has been the leader of the best streaming service since then. This streaming platform has over 230.7 million subscribers as of 2023 and has generated $31.61 billion by the end of 2022.
It is necessary to remember that the on demand content on Netflix differs from country to country due to licensing rights.
Pros of Netflix
Netflix has umpteen choices of movies and TV shows to offer and brings a lot to the table that makes it the best option for you:
Netflix figured out that the secret to running a successful streaming platform was to provide original content to its viewers. Its first original show, “House of Cards”, starred Kevin Spacey, won many Emmys, giving the justification it needed. In 2023, Netflix plans to spend a whopping amount of $26.5 billion.
Netflix has an extremely user-friendly interface that makes it easy for viewers to find something new to watch. It has an algorithm that picks out content it thinks is best for you based on the videos you have watched earlier. Netflix content is available in different categories for you to find titles in genres you are interested in
Netflix is available on several platforms like Xbox, PS4, Blu-ray Players, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, and more. You only need to download the application to watch Netflix for a truly streamlined experience that gives a boot over the competition.
If English isn’t your first language, Netflix will be the best streaming platform for you. In 2014, Netflix decided to subtitle all its content, so you can be sure to find quality closed captioning for all your favorite shows. This is an advantage Netflix has over its competitors and could be a deciding factor why you should choose it over other streaming services.
Cons of Netflix
Netflix also has some downsides, which you should be aware of before subscribing to it. It offers services in over 190 countries; however, you can watch content specific to your country of residence. Original Netflix title supports multi-language switching to enjoy English dubbing and English subtitles while you are abroad. But, also consider various disadvantages of Netflix:
- Few options for Cartoon Network and Dramas
- Not many 4K compatible content
- No free trial
- And many more like…
Netflix buys limited streaming rights to movies and TV shows from various studios. It is losing subscribers, cutting costs, and introducing advertising as it fails to provide enough network shows to its subscribers. One knock on Netflix is that it doesn’t appear until a season is already aired on traditional TV.
The most popular plan that lets you view the content is 4K, and HDR is a bit more expensive than Hulu and is available for $19.99/month. If you want to save money, opting for Netflix’s lowest tier is advisable, available for $6.99/month.
Hulu: Stream Movies and TV Live and Online
Hulu was founded in 2007 as a joint venture between News Corporation and NBC Universal. Later, the majority of its stake is owned by The Walt Disney Company and Providence Equity Partners. Hulu was initially branded as “Hulu Plus”, which featured full seasons of programs from the companies with undelayed access to new episodes.
Pros of Hulu
Hulu is an easy way to cut the cord as it has a huge on-demand library and gives access to more than 85 live channels. The advantages of Hulu can be explained as follows:
The biggest advantage of Hulu is that the TV shows that are in agreement with Hulu make their content available on this platform the next day. You don’t need to wait days and months to watch new episodes.
Hulu has an expansive library of classic TV shows like Friends, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The Office, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Twilight Zone, and many others. If you are a fan of classics and looking for a huge catalogue, then Hulu is your thing.
For those who are looking to take a break from cable companies but still wish to access live TV channels on network television along with your favourite TV shows, Hulu is the best option. If you wish to add live TV to your basic service plan, you will be paying $69.99/month, and the Premium plan with live TV will cost you $82.99.
The numbers might seem higher at first, but the average cost of cable is over $100/month.
Hulu provides an option to add extra channels like HBO, Starz, Showtime, and many others to increase the size of your library. To get access, you must pay a bit more than the actual streaming cost.
Hulu is cheaper than other streaming options. The basic plan of Hulu is available for $7.99, which gives you access to the entire Hulu library with advertisements. What’s nice about Hulu is that all the plans give you access to HDR content at no extra cost, unlike Netflix.
Cons of Hulu
With many upsides, Hulu also has downsides, like it doesn’t allow you to download shows and movies from premium add-on channels. The download option works only on iPhones, iPads, Android mobile devices, and Amazon Fire Tablets. Let’s understand in detail the disadvantages of Hulu:
Since Hulu specializes in TV shows, it doesn’t spend much on original content. However,it has produced shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, which have become a big hit for critics and fans. If your main goal in switching to streaming services is to get away from the content produced by main networks, Hulu isn't the best choice for you.
The fact that Hulu charges $7.99 and makes you watch ads that you can’t skip is a very big disadvantage. It becomes mandatory for you to spend extra if you want to get rid of ads. But, this whole advertising thing can be frustrating for those looking to get a great streaming service at the lowest possible pricing.
Unlike Netflix, Hulu doesn’t use Dolby Atmos sound, which can disappoint users. Hulu’s most of content is available in surround sound 2.0, while some content is also available in 5.1. But nothing is available in 7.1, which is the industry standard today. This makes Hulu a less suitable option when compared with Netflix.
Hulu vs Netflix: Plans and Pricing
Hulu has five stand-alone plans to stream content in its lineup, which differs from Netflix’s offerings.
Netflix offers four subscription plans: Basic with Ads, Basic, Standard, and Premium. You can further customize your Hulu subscription with add-ons like ESPN, Disney, HBO Max, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz that give you access to additional premium content.
More information about plans and pricings of Hulu and Netflix are mentioned in the tables below-
HULU: Plans and Pricing
|Hulu Plans||Price List|
|Ad-Supported Plan||$7.99/month [or $79.99/yearly]|
|Student Plan [Ad-Supported]||$1.99/month|
|Hulu [No Ads]||$14.99/month|
|Hulu + Live TV Plans|
|Hulu [Ad-Supported] + Live TV + ESPN [Ad-Supported] + Disney [Ad- Supported]||$69.99/month|
|Hulu [No Ads] + Live TV + ESPN [Ad-Supported] + Disney [No Ads]||$82.99/month|
NETFLIX: Plans and Pricing
|Netflix Plans||Price List||Simultaneous Streamers|
|Basic With Ads||$6.99/month||One|
Differentiating and Winning Factors of Streaming Services: Netflix vs Hulu
Content is the biggest factor determining whether you should subscribe to Netflix or Hulu. Both of these most popular streaming serivces have tons of TV shows and movies to offer and have different areas of focus.
Netflix is best known for its original content, including hit shows like Narcos, Stranger Things, Squid Game, Queer Eye, Big Mouth, and many others.
Hulu is home to new and old hit TV shows like The Kardashians, ER, Firefly, The X-Files, and many more.
The below table defines the differentiating and winning factors of Hulu vs Netflix:
|Price||$7.99/month with ADs||$6.99/month with ADs|
|Availability||US, Puerto Rico, and some parts of Japan||More than 190 countries|
|Screens||One [paid add-on allowed]||One to Four screens are allowed depending on the subscription package|
|Streaming Quality||Available in 4K streaming quality||4K streaming quality available at the highest subscription|
|Originals||The Kardashians, Palm Springs, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Pope Answers<||Stranger Things, Squid Game, Lucifer, The Witcher, Man VS Bee, Peaky Blinders, I Think You Should Leave|
|Live TV||Yes, at a higher subscription of $69.99/month||Not available|
With both services, you get a larger selection of TV shows and movies from different genres, so there is something for everyone. The advantage of Netflix is in the depth of its library, which features more TV shows and films, especially for children, than Hulu. However, Hulu often has current episodes of popular TV programs with a day or so. Which streaming service do you think is right for you?
Netflix vs Hulu: Which One is Right for You?
Which of the two streaming entertainment apps to subscribe to comes down from personal preference. Netflix is the leader in the game (and arguably better) and has more original content. It supports 4K resolutions but is only supportable for high-end plans and is generous regarding device usage. Netflix allows a maximum of 4 subscribesrs to watch simultaneously from the same account.
On the other hand, Hulu is the option you should choose if you want to watch popular TV shows. Hulu has a track record of TV shows being available within 24 hours after being aired. Hulu is a much cheaper option when compared to Netflix, and the entry-level plan is cost-effective, but it is ad-supported.
YOU GET TO DECIDE THE WINNER IN HULU VS NETFLIX BATTLE
Both these popular streaming services have pros and cons, so the best option is to try them out. Netflix, once subscribed, gives you the option to cancel anytime. Whereas Hulu offers free trials, allowing you to check the content, video quality, and other features without spending a dollar. You can even go back and forth between Netflix and Hulu if you wish to explore both options to discover new content.
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