Hulu vs Netflix Comparison - Which Is The Best for Online Streaming

Hulu vs Netflix

The upside of Netflix is the breadth of its catalog, which includes more TV episodes and films, particularly for youngsters, than Hulu. However, Hulu frequently offers current episodes of major TV shows within just a day or two of the initial broadcast. In contrast, Netflix may not provide series episodes, and new seasons for up to one year or more, based on the contracts Netflix is able to make with media production firms.

To offset this, Netflix established its original and exclusive programming. Resurrecting hits like Arrested Development and introducing new hits such as Sandman, The Witcher, and Orange Is the New Black have all proven to be more successful than Hulu’s original series.

Hulu vs. Netflix: Summary

Netflix vs Hulu are among the most popular online streaming services accessible today, yet their content libraries are considerably different. Netflix has the most films plus hundreds of classic TV shows, but Hulu Plus has an expansive selection of the latest shows and a limited range of movies. 

One disadvantage of Hulu Plus is that it has advertisements; Netflix does not. Both services cost $7.99 monthly and have apps for several devices, including smart televisions and video game consoles like the Xbox.

Hulu vs Netflix Chart

PricingHulu Basic $6.99No Ads $12.99Live TV $69.99Live TV (No Ads) $75.99Netflix Basic $9.99Standard $15.49Premium $19.99
AvailabilityUS onlyOver 190 countries
Streaming Quality4K (for limited titles)4K (with premium subscription only)
Live TVYesNo
Offline viewingYes (5 devices with Live TV No Ads subscription)Yes (4 devices with premium subscription)

Which Offers The Best Content Library?

Which Offers The Best Content Library?

Hulu does have a handful of movies but is best recognized for its TV episodes, which include relevant clips, trailers, and interviews. Hulu has not disclosed the extent of its collection, but it is thought to include over 43,000 episodes from 1,650 shows and over 2,500 films.

The service is different because it can release episodes fast, frequently within a single day of its original showing. It includes programming from networks such as NBC, ABC, USA Network, Brave, Fox, ION Television, Syfy, E!, and others.

A&E, as well as Oxygen Hulu, has produced more than a dozen original programs, including A Day in the Life, Spoilers, Battleground, and Up to Speed, and it has numerous more in the works for the upcoming years.

Netflix’s collection contains over 100,000 titles. This includes individual episodes of television shows. Netflix does not disclose the extent of its library of content since, according to the business, it fluctuates when titles expire or the latest ones become available.

Netflix’s advantage is the breadth of its catalog, which includes more TV episodes and films, particularly for youngsters, than Hulu. On the other hand, Hulu frequently contains the latest episodes of popular TV shows within a day or two of their original broadcast. In contrast, Netflix may not release episodes for almost a year or longer, according to the terms Netflix can make with media production firms.

To offset this, Netflix established its original and exclusive content, resurrecting titles like Arrested Development and introducing new shows, including Sandman, Emily In Paris, and Orange Is the New Black, which have all fared better than Hulu’s original series.

Which Streaming Gadgets Support Hulu and Netflix?

Excellent news! Hulu and Netflix are available on nearly every gadget.

You, your sibling, spouse, or child can watch Hulu on the following streaming devices:

  • iPhones, iPads
  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • LG TV
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • VIZIO SmartCast TV
  • Amazon Fire tablets
  • Xbox
  • Playstation 3, 4, and 5
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Amazon Fire TV streaming devices and tablets
  • Apple TV (4th generation or later)
  • Android TV
  • Roku
  • Chromecast

Use these streaming gadgets to watch Netflix all day:

  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • iPhones and iPads
  • Windows smartphones and tablets
  • Apple TV
  • Smart TVs such as Hisense, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Sony, and Vizio
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Roku TV
  • Chromecast
  • PS3, PS4, and PS5
  • Xbox
  • Blu-ray players such as Funai, LG, Magnavox, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, Phillips, Sharp, and Sony

We should also highlight that Hulu recommends, at minimum, a 3 Mbps connection to the internet for SD streaming and a 16 Mbps internet connection for 4K streaming.

For Netflix, you’ll need, at minimum, a 5 Mbps connection to the internet to enjoy HD streaming and a 25 Mbps connection for 4K streaming. For 4K quality with two simultaneous streams, you’ll need 50 Mbps.

What Originals Do Netflix And Hulu Have?

What Originals Do Netflix And Hulu Have?

Netflix and Hulu produce a large number of originals, whether scripted or unscripted.

Netflix easily wins. The variety of original content appears to be endless, giving the service a clear edge in terms of exclusive content. There’s much to watch, ranging from reality shows to major films and children’s programming. The movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Chadwick Boseman, won an Oscar in 2021. Some of its highest-rated shows include Emily In Paris, Squid Game, Stranger Things, Money Heist, and Lucifer. Netflix also offers its exclusive documentary on the Fyre Festival and a slew of true crime programming. With most releases, Netflix lets you immediately view all new show episodes, rather than releasing one episode a week, similar to services like Hulu and some other traditional providers.

Hulu isn’t a slouch when it comes to originals, though, but it isn’t Netflix. During the 2021 awards season, the streamer struck gold with originals like The United States vs. Billie Holiday. The diamond in Hulu’s crown, though, is unquestionably The Handmaid’s Tale, possibly among the best series of recent years. Hulu does offer a handful of lesser-known programs that have received critical acclaims, such as The Great, The WeWork Documentary, Reservation Dogs, and Prey. If you are not a cable entertainment user (and don’t reside in the UK), Hulu is also one of the few locations to see the critically acclaimed Killing Eve.

How many simultaneous streams are allowed?

Usually, streaming services limit the number of devices that can stream video simultaneously, when you have a household or just two people who can’t decide what they should watch, having the flexibility to access a service on various devices might be a lifesaver.

To watch on more than one device with Netflix, you must have the mid-tier Standard plan at a minimum. Furthermore, the Premium subscription enables you to watch on as many as four devices at once.

In comparison, regardless of plan, Hulu offers the ability to watch on two devices. Unfortunately, if you require more than two concurrent streams, Hulu is out of the question.

What sets Hulu and Netflix apart from one another?

Netflix and Hulu share a lot of similarities, but they also have some significant points of differentiation.

Let’s begin with the things that are the same. The concept of subscription streaming in its current form was pioneered in 2007 by Netflix with the launch of its streaming option. Netflix is a streaming media service that charges its subscribers on a monthly basis in exchange for access to a vast library of television series and motion pictures. On-demand access is provided to all of Netflix’s content, including you get to choose when and where to enjoy it, and you have complete control over when the video plays and when it pauses. You are free to watch as much content as you desire for as long as you please.

The on-demand streaming service offered by Hulu operates in an essentially equivalent manner. Monthly fees are charged to subscribers, who can see content whenever they like. However, there are a few subtle distinctions between the two. The most apparent difference between the two is that Netflix does not include advertisements in its programming, unlike Hulu. On the other hand, you have the option to pay a little more to get a Hulu add-on that allows you to filter commercials out of your on-demand material.

Additionally, Hulu typically offers more recent episodes than Netflix does. Hulu is able to upload fresh episodes of certain shows in just a day or two following their first airing. When you watch a show on Netflix, you typically have to be patient and wait until the entire season is through before you can begin downloading individual episodes.

One final distinction could be made between Hulu and Netflix services, and this one is a significant one. A Hulu membership option is available, referred to as “Hulu + Live TV.” The Hulu on-demand service, which is quite similar to that of Netflix, is a component of the Hulu + Live TV package; however, this package also includes something else: Live TV networks such as the ones you used to tune into on cable are now available via the internet. Hulu Plus Live TV is a “skinny bundle” live TV service that provides members with the ability to watch live broadcasts from channels such as AMC, HGTV, ESPN, and TNT. Thanks to built-in and add-on capabilities, subscribers may take advantage of conveniences like a cloud DVR. The end result is an experience remarkably similar to that of cable but at a lower cost.

You do not need to subscribe to Hulu Plus Live TV, though. Hulu continues to operate a standalone version of its Netflix-competitive on-demand streaming service.

In a nutshell, Netflix and Hulu are somewhat comparable to one another; however, Hulu also offers a live TV service that is referred to as Hulu + Live TV, but it operates in a different way.

Most Secure Streaming Platform

Netflix’s streaming service protects your data by a 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, which is the same degree of encryption that is used by banks as well as other financial institutions..

In addition to this, Netflix has anti-malware security in place, which will prevent malware from infiltrating your device while it is streaming content from Netflix. The privacy policy of Netflix is also straightforward and all-encompassing, providing an explanation of how it collects, utilizes, and shares user data.

Your data is protected on Hulu using 128-bit AES encryption, a somewhat less secure method than the 256-bit SSL encryption used by Netflix.

Thanks to the site’s built-in anti-malware protection, you can stream Hulu content without worrying about your device becoming infected with malware. The privacy policy of Hulu is also transparent and all-encompassing, including an explanation of how the site gathers, utilizes, and shares user data for a variety of purposes.

Hulu vs Netflix Price and Plans

Hulu vs Netflix Price and Plans

Netflix has three subscription options to choose from – Basic, Standard, and Premium. The first is $9.99 a month and allows you to view as many series and movies as you like. However, they can only be streamed in SD resolution and on a single device at a time. 

For most people, the Standard plan, which costs $15.49 per month, is a far better alternative. The resolution is increased to HD, and you can broadcast on two devices simultaneously. Choose the Premium plan if you want to stream video in 4K on up to four devices at once. The monthly fee is $19.99. It’s worth noting that Netflix discontinued its long-running 30-day free trial for new subscribers.

Although Hulu offers five stand-alone subscriptions (excluding bundle deals), they are considerably different from Netflix’s offerings. The cheapest option is exclusively available to college students. It permits qualifying college students to subscribe to Hulu for $1.99 per month (with ads).

The most popular package, however, is only $6.99 per month and provides unlimited access to Hulu’s content catalog. It is, however, ad-supported, which means that your episodes will be interrupted by advertising. If you can’t tolerate the ads, the ad-free plan is a better but more expensive option, costing $12.99 monthly. It also has the ability to download TV shows and certain movies for offline watching. Hulu has also recently introduced 4K resolution support. However, it is only available for a select few TV shows and movies.

The other two subscriptions are the most expensive and feature, in addition to Hulu’s content catalog, access to more than 60 live TV channels, something Netflix does not provide. 

The plan costs $69.99 per month with Hulu commercials or $75.99 per month without ads. These bundle options include membership to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for even more content.

Hulu’s plans enable only one stream per account. The Hulu Plus Live TV subscription adds another stream. If that isn’t enough, you can choose “Unlimited Screens.” This enables you to watch content on several devices connected to your home network at the same time. It also allows you to stream to up to three mobile devices while on the go. You can access all of these features for an additional $9.99 per month. You can also purchase an advanced cloud DVR for $9.99 or package it with Unlimited Screens for $14.98.

Every Hulu plan can be further customized with add-ons that grant access to extra, premium content. Among the alternatives are:

  • ESPN Plus — $6.99 per month
  • HBO Max — $14.99
  • Cinemax — $9.99 per month
  • Showtime — $10.99 per month
  • Starz — $8.99 per month

The service provides free trials for its various streaming alternatives. Depending on your plan, they can range from seven to thirty days, and free trials can vary depending on when you sign up.

Finally, for $13.99 per month, you can receive the ad-supported version of Hulu along with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus. You can also purchase the same package with Hulu without advertising for $19.99 per month.

Which Is More Convenient To Use?

Hulu and Netflix are constantly working to improve their user interfaces.

Hulu and Netflix both offer simple user interfaces that, to be honest, appear similar.

Prior to scrolling down to the multiple rows of Your List, Movies suggestions for You, and the Bingeable TV category, you can expect to find a highlighted Television show or film at the top of the screen.

If you subscribe to the Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu bundle, you will receive live sporting event suggestions similar to the one below.

Hulu’s user interface incorporates aspects from Netflix’s homepage sections, such as Tv Shows, Films, and My Stuff/My List. The Hubs tab, on the other hand, identifies Hulu.

This is where you’ll discover movies and TV shows organized by TV Network, such as ABC, Cartoon Network, and FX. So, if you’re a big fan of an ABC series, Hulu makes it simple.

Hulu Hubs tab

We appreciate Netflix’s “Fresh & Popular” option since it allows us to see whatever new Netflix recently added (particularly if you’ve already binge-watched everything in Netflix’s collection).

Overall, neither interface is a wrong choice. Hulu and Netflix offer some of the most slick and visually appealing user interface designs within the premium on-demand streaming service market.

Which offers Downloading To Watch Later Feature?

Which offers Downloading To Watch Later Feature?

Although most of us are constantly connected, there are moments when you require offline entertainment. There seems to be a lot of difference between Netflix and Hulu here. Well, let’s examine it in detail.

You can download content to view later on all three Netflix plans. The number of devices you may download stuff onto is determined by your package, which is identical to the stream count you receive.

You must subscribe to the premium Ad-Free plan to download material for offline watching on Hulu.

You may keep your downloads for a limited time using both services. Unwatched Hulu downloads typically have a 30-day expiration date, although unplayed Netflix downloads have varying expiration dates. If you begin watching downloaded content on either provider, it will expire 48 hours later. Downloads on both services can be refreshed (downloaded again).

The Final Take

Despite the fact that Netflix and Hulu are rivals, they are both appealing in quite different ways. Netflix boasts a more extensive and richer selection of movies and television shows, as well as the awards to confirm it. 

Hulu offers some original content, but it really shines when it comes to licensed programming. With the Hulu and Live TV subscription, Hulu also provides a terrific cable alternative. If you are still hesitant, you may easily test either service.

Except for the Hulu Plus Live TV packages, which provide 7-day free trials, most Netflix and Hulu subscription plans include a 30-day free trial period. You’ll have more than enough time to try each option, so unlike cable, you won’t be concerned about contracts.

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.