Netflix and Hulu Plus: You can find them everywhere, but when it comes down to choices, most people pick one or the other. If you have to make the big decision, it’s best to make it based on what you prefer to stream…but let’s compare Hulu Plus vs Netflix and see how these two ultra-popular streaming services break out…
How much are you willing to pay monthly for your streaming service? Frankly, it doesn’t really matter, because Netflix and Hulu remain neck-and-neck when it comes to their pricing models, which vary from $8 to $12 based on the features you pick. The most important factor may be when you sign up: If you don’t already have a Netflix account, you can actually expect to pay around $10 instead of $8, because Netflix is edging prices up for new users. These prices are more worth comparing to other services, like the $15 per month HBO Now.
Content is really where streaming TV/movie services have to prove themselves, and here Netflix and Hulu show why they are and will remain competitors. Netflix specializes in a large movie catalogue with plenty of focus on the long tail of niche genres. It gets plenty of TV shows too, especially the popular ones, but you usually have to wait a year or so after a season has aired to watch it.
Hulu, meanwhile, is almost the opposite. It offers plenty of movies, but not as many nor as popular as the Netflix offerings. Instead, Hulu spends its time getting as many TV shows as possible to viewers, typically only a day or two after they air. This lets you watch seasons in real time while worrying far less about spoilers.
When it comes to original content, it’s important to note that Netflix has been working on its own shows and even movies for much longer than Hulu. It has created a very impressive series of Netflix-sponsored and produced TV shows, many of them award-winners and common topics during lunch hours, from Daredevil and Jessica Jones to Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Hulu, by contrast, is just starting to produce its new content, which tends to be more quirky and indie than Netflix’s highly professional outings. Hulu is likely to increase its original content over time, so you can expect some more direct competition here in the future.
Both streamers offer HD content with no problem – and allow you to turn down the resolution to save your data limits, which is a very underrated feature. However, when it comes to 4K, only Netflix currently offers 4K content – and then only for some shows and movies. However, this point has a limited lifespan: Eventually 4K will become more of the norm for all shows and movies (as well as devices and TVs), and both services will probably end up offering regular ultra HD content.
Here is where we note that the Hulu, even Hulu Plus, comes with commercials, unless you are willing to pay the full $12 – and even then there are still some commercials, especially for the popular shows. Netflix has no ads or commercials, period, which makes it hard for Hulu to compete here. As far as other services like parental controls, login options, and so on, both services are largely equal.