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Netflix vs. Hulu – Which One Should You Choose?

netflix vs hulu

Following the trend of cord-cutting, Hulu and Netflix have emerged as one of the dominant players in the market when one is looking for an alternative to traditional cable TV. It is really becoming difficult to even remember cable Tv at this point and because Hulu and Netflix and various other streaming services have completely changed the way people consume media through their Televisions, desktops and handheld devices.

So today we are drawing a comparison of Netflix vs. Hulu, so that you can decide for yourself which one is the right one for you. Before we actually dive in deep into the comparison, here is a basic overview chart of Hulu vs. Netflix,so that you can get a general idea about the likes and differences.

  HULU NETFLIX
Website www.hulu.com www.netflix.com
  Price $8 per month for regular streaming. $12 per month for streaming with no ads. $8 per month for SD video quality streaming (one device) $11 per month for HD video quality streaming (2 devices) $14 per month for 4K ultra HD quality streaming (4 devices)  
Products primarily TV shows, Video on demand; including current season shows. online DVD, Video on demand  and Blu-ray disc rental; older TV shows and primarily movies.
  Library   Close to 1,650 shows and 2,500 movies   Around About 100,000 movies and TV shows

Now that you have a basic idea of what Hulu and Netflix are about let us go into how they actually stack up to each other in each segment.

Primary Contents – Netflix vs. Hulu

So, let us start with the mos timportant factor first; the content.

When it comes to variety and number, Netflix clearly blows Hulu out of the water. With a budget of nearly $8 billion a year, Netflix makes sure their content stays above the rest in every way possible. Netflix was initially abou t all about movies since their early DVD-rental days but over the years have progressed over to a more television series environment. In this decade, a lot of Netflix original shows have sprung up with seasons of 10-13 episodes and have dominated the household environment. You are sure to recognize critically acclaimed series such Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Lost in Space, etc. Most people will immediately have made up their minds when they see these kinds of offerings from Netflix, rather than consider what any other streaming service has to offer in place of them.

Hulu is also known for some movies but is primarily known for TV-oriented content as well. The difference being that they simply cannot match the quantity that Netflix has to offer. Hulu airs show from networks such as ON Television, USA Network, Brave, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc.The one advantage that Hulu has over Netflix is that the latest episodes of every series are available pretty quickly on their service once it has been officially released. Netflix can lag behind a season in this regard for a while.

So, basically it boils down to this. Netflix has a superior library which can cater to almost all your moods throughout the week, but if you are that person who has only specific shows in mind and must absolutely watch the latest episodes as early as possible,then Hulu is probably the one for you.

Additional content – Hulu vs. Netflix

We always want something more.Who doesn’t? So, what do you get for your cravings outside the box? Add-ons. Additional content is when the service provides you access to other content outside their own offerings, particularly from other competitors.

In this regard, Hulu is the clear winner. They offer you special access to HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. Showtime is available for around $9 a month, Cinemax for around $10 a month and HBO for around $15 a month. Some other streaming services offer you better deals in this regard, but at least you go get a choice with Hulu as compared to Netflix which does not offer you any additional channel content tolink to. What they have is what you get.

User interface – Hulu vs. Netflix

The user interface of Netflix is very smooth and eye catchy. Their database is very meticulously segregated so that you always know where to look when you are searching for the content you need. You get suggestions of the latest releases, trending releases (new and old) and other top content suggestions based on your own watch history.

Another thing we really appreciate from a user experience perspective is that the interface of Netflix is the same across all supported devices such as TVs, mobiles, tablets, desktops, etc. This means that should you switch from one device to the other; you should have no problem navigating each time you do so.

Hulu has been undergoing a constant change in its interface over the years. We can say that things have become better with categories such as Keep Watching, TV, Movies, and Kids that make it pretty easy to cycle through their content. Hulu does not necessarily have an eye catchy interface like Netflix, but it definitely is just as smooth if not smooth and maybe even quicker to get around within.

The price – Netflix vs. Hulu

Back in the day (yes, we get nostalgic pretty fast), Hulu used to be free albeit very limited with their content. Now, you can get the basic Hulu subscription for $7.99 a month, but you still have to put up with commercials on your interface. A level higher you can opt for their $11.99 a month which removes almost all the commercials (a few commercials are shown due to deals between Hulu and specific Networks).

Netflix does not pester you with commercials, but you forced to choose depending on the video quality of the content you prefer or can deal with. The base package is for $7.99 a month which lets you stream in SD (standard definition) on one device only at a time.Above that, you get HD (high definition) streaming for $10.99 a month and be able to stream on two devices at a time. The highest tier which almost everyone opts for is the $13.99 a month plan, which lets you stream in 4K UHD(ultra-high definition) on up to four devices at a time.

Supported devices – Hulu vs. Netflix

Both Hulu and Netflix can be streamed on almost all smart devices which have a screen large enough to watch videos. The list is too long to even consider listing here. One primary exception is that the Hulu Website uses flash so that it will be unusable on Apple devices.

Check hereto see if your device supports Netflix and check the list here to see if your device support Hulu.

Availability – Netflix vs. Hulu

Hulu is available only in the US and Japan (the Japan version definitely seems to be some sort of knockoff).

Netflix is available all around the world except Mainland China, Syria, North Korea, and Crimea.

Other important factors

  • If you are the kind of person who absolutely cannot do without subtitles, then Netflix is definitely for you. Netflix guarantees you subtitles across all their content.
  • Netflix also gives you the options to monitor the content your children watch. You can make sure that your children watch only PG-rated content or below. Even on the handheld device app, you have a lock feature which allows you to lock out mature content before you let your children use the device.
  • Hulu also offers you a live streaming TV package like Sling TV with a base starting package of $39.99 a month which offers you over 50 channels along with the on-demand content.

The Final Verdict – Netflix vs. Hulu

If you are solely looking to stream TV oriented content then without a doubt, Netflix is the one you should go for. You will find almost everything you want to watch and then some. The notion that you would have to wait a while longer for some of the content to update to the latest released versions should not bother you much at this point.

If you are looking for some specific content, want to watch the latest episodes on release then Hulu is definitely for you. The only thing is that you must be a resident in the US.You do get the option of Live TV as well, if you want to catch up with other content such as sports, news, etc.

So, pick your poison. Happy Streaming!!

Posted in Alternatives