Netflix and Hulu have been around for a long time, long enough to dominate TV watching and media streaming. Many cord-cutters have ditched their cable and satellite because of these two streaming services. People are moving away from the traditional TV and clinging close to online streaming. Who needs cable when you can access a large library of content for a lower cost? Before we begin, you should know that both services can be used on PC, Mac, Roku, PS4, Fire TV, and Apple TV. Each service has certain qualities that give it an advantage over the other in terms of price, content, compatibility, and interface. In case you were at loss as to which service you should choose, you probably should read this article. It will help you make up your mind. So, let’s take a look at our Netflix vs Hulu 2018 comparison.
Netflix Vs Hulu Comparison Table
Below you’ll find a brief overview of what each streaming service offers.
|Price||Starting at $8||Starting at $7.99|
|Free Trial||30 Days||30 Days|
|Supported Devices||All major streaming devices||All major streaming devices|
|Region Availability||All over the world||USA and Japan|
|Simultaneous Streams||Up to 4||Up to 2|
Netflix vs Hulu In-Depth Comparison
So, how does Hulu compare against Netflix in terms of content, price, offline viewing, and other aspects?
Hulu first started out as a streaming service to help people catch up with their favorite TV shows. It owns the largest library of current TV shows and the only service that allows you to watch the latest episodes of shows currently airing on TV. You can watch the latest episode of Empire as soon as it is available. That isn’t the same for Netflix as you have to wait a year for the show’s full season in order to watch all the episodes. If you want to stay current and up to date with TV, Hulu is the service for you. However, if you prefer to pull an all-nighter and binge watch the entire season of Empire, then Netflix will do you just fine.
Netflix’s basic $7.99 month plan offers several benefits:
- You can watch on your laptop, TV, phone or tablet
- You can watch on 1 device at a time
- Unlimited access to TV and movies
- Cancel anytime
Netflix’s standard $9.99 a month plan includes:
- HD viewing when available
- You can watch on up to 2 viewing screens at a timeNetflix’s premium $11.99 plan includes additional features such as:
- Ultra HD viewing when available
- You can watch on up to 4 viewing screens at a time
Hulu offers two simple but effective plans:
- $7.99 a month plan that includes commercials
- $11.99 a month plan that is commercial-free
Netflix is now available in almost every country around the globe. You can stream your favorite TV shows on Netflix regardless of where you currently reside. It should be noted though that the content available differs from one region to another. In other words, the movies and TV series available on Netflix USA aren’t the same as on Netflix UK. You can change your Netflix region with the help of a VPN service such as ExpressVPN.
Hulu, on the other hand, is only available in the USA and Japan. Obviously, the American version of Hulu is head and shoulders above its Japanese counterpart. American expats living abroad can also not access their Hulu subscriptions unless they use a VPN.
With Netflix, there aren’t any content add-ons. What you pay for is what you get, you can’t stream any content from any other channel or service. So if you want a show that is not available on Netflix, you’ll have to download another app and subscribe to another streaming service in order to watch it. You won’t be needing a separate app to watch shows from different services because Hulu allows add-ons, in fact, it offers three add-on “channels”: HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime.
- Showtime is $8.99 a month
- Cinemax is $9.99 a month
- HBO is $14.99 a month
Netflix gets the upper hand when it comes to original programming. They have more originals than you can keep track of. It has over 100 original shows and very successful ones too, like Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos, and House of Cards. Its library is basically dedicated to originals and it keeps on changing on a monthly basis. Netflix continually updates their content and are all about the out with the old and in with the new. Hulu, on the other hand, are pretty low on originals. However, they did manage to gain fame for the programs they do have, including Harlots and The Looming Tower, as well as upcoming Stephen King meta adaptation Castle Rock and Mindy Kaling’s Four Weddings and a Funeraladaptation.
For a $40 per month, you can stream 50 top channels including sports and news using Hulu. The new feature has made this particular streaming service an interesting proposition for cord-cutters who do not want to sacrifice their ability to watch live content. Live channels available via Hulu Live TV include ABC, CBS, Fox, ESPN, Disney, Freeform, and CNN.
Netflix doesn’t seem to have any plans to add a live TV feature anytime soon. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had recently stated “We have so much we want to do in our area, so we’re not trying to copy others, whether that’s linear cable, there’s lots of things we don’t do. We don’t do live news, we don’t do live sports. But what we do do, we try to do really well.”
So, if live TV is a must, there’s only one winner for you in this category and that is Hulu.
Both Netflix and Hulu offer a 30-day free trial which gives users ample time to try them out and make a choice. You can also extend the life of this free trial period by simply asking a customer service rep for more time.
Having an offline option is perfect for those long flights that lack in-flight entertainment or for those who don’t have a constant WiFi connection. Netflix has that option for both iOS and Android operating systems, which is a big plus for the service. Its subscribers can download select movies and TV shows and watch them when they are offline. Hulu is set to launch its offline viewing option for its film library and TV episodes during the 2018-19 TV upfront season.
Probably the most irritating thing about TV watching is the commercial breaks that pop up every minute. People got rid of cable and television broadcasting for a reason, the last thing they need is to have to sit through Walmart adds with an online streaming service. Netflix is aware that the world of online streaming must be different from regular TV and for that, it is free of commercials. With Hulu, however, you have to pay an extra 4$ to get an ad-free streaming experience. So far Netflix has been racking up the winning points in this battle. Though it wouldn’t hurt if Netflix advertised for its own programming. In fact, that would give its subscribers the opportunity to discover the content it has to offer.
As far as streaming goes, Netflix is the reigning champion for having the deepest and richest library. From popular documentaries to stand up specials, talk shows, and drama series, Netflix has it all. Despite the fact that Hulu airs NBC, CBS, MTV, BBC, Comedy Central, and FOX programs, it is still low on programming.
Netflix movies suck. Period. We have to give to Hulu this time, it wins this round. That doesn’t mean that Hulu’s movies are to die for, but their film selection is way better than Netflix’s. Netflix has turned its back on movies ever since it started investing in originals. Now that they’ve become more TV oriented, we don’t think that their movie distribution is going to take off anytime soon.
Hulu’s interface is neat and pretty straightforward, while that of Netflix is busy and kind of overwhelming. That’s because Netflix has a lot of content and cannot afford to advertise one over the other. They want to give a fair shot for all their shows by allowing subscribers to make the choice for themselves. With all that being said, Netflix makes it easy for users to search, browse, and read up on any show before watching it, not to mention, offers suggestions based on what they’ve watched. Contrary to Hulu, which neatly divides TV shows and movies into drop-down categories. It first displays what the subscribers have last watched and then lists other randomized categories. With both streaming services, users can add series, movies, and episodes to their Watchlist. However, Hulu users can view their watchlist, which notifies them when a new episode is released or when a show is about to expire soon. And that is something Netflix doesn’t do.
Both Hulu and Netflix are supported by all kinds of devices such as:
- Smart TVs.
- Streaming Media Players.
- Game Consoles.
- Set-top Boxes.
- Blu-ray Players.
- Smartphones & Tablets.
- PCs & Laptops.
You can watch Hulu on Android phones and tablets, Apple TV (4th gen or later), Chromecast, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, iPhones and iPads, LG TV (select models), Nintendo Switch, Roku and Roku Stick (select models), Samsung TV (select models), Xbox 360, Xbox One,etc. You can watch Netflix on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV smart devices, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Nintendo Wii, LG Electronics, Philips, Roku, etc. Bottom line is it’s hard to find a device or operating system that doesn’t support either one of these services.
Hulu or Netflix?
There are a lot of options for video streaming like Youtube, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime. They all aim to captivate and hook viewers with their quality programming and tempting offers, but only a few of them stand out. Like who are we kidding? We all know that Hulu and Netflix have stolen the show. These two streaming services are destinations that TV fans and cord cutters seek. They are still the most popular services and will continue to fight for their spot in the world of streaming entertainment. Now which service deserves our cash…that depends on what features you find most convenient and suit you best. Both are super competitive services constantly looking for ways to satisfy their subscribers and provide them with the ultimate streaming experience they could ask for. You know what that settles it, Hulu and Netflix it is. That way you get the best of both worlds. But which service checks all the boxes for you? Let us know in the comment section below.