Hulu vs Netflix

Contents

Netflix is the biggest video streaming service in the United States. In fact, it is the biggest video streaming service in the world. The company currently has 182 million members, 69 million of whom are in the USA. Hulu doesn’t compete internationally, but it is the Third largest video streaming service by subscriber count in the USA after Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The Hulu service currently has 30 million subscribers.

Netflix is an independent company and The Walt Disney Company owns Hulu. Netflix started out a DVD-by-mail system and moved over to using the internet for video delivery when broadband became available in the USA. The company still operates a DVD-by-mail system through its subsidiary DVD.com.

Hulu was started up in 2006 and until 2019 was majority-owned by the Fox Corporation. Disney took over Hulu in March 2019. Hulu created a live TV streaming service in 2016. Subscribers to this service get a live TV channel bundle, similar to the services of cable TV providers This is an addon service and is called Hulu + Live TV. The live TV streaming customers also get access to the Hulu video-on-demand library.

Compare Hulu vs Netflix plans

Both Hulu and Netflix offer access to a library of videos and all members get access to the same library for each service. Hulu has two plans. The cheaper option is ad-supported and the higher plan is advert free. Netflix offers three plans.

  Hulu with ads Hulu ad-free Netflix Basic Netflix Standard Netflix Premium
Monthly price $5.99 $11.99 $8.99 $12.99 $15.99
Free trial 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Number of videos 4,000 + 10,000 + 5,000 + 5,000 + 5,000 +
Streaming quality HD HD SD HD 4K
Original content Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Addons available Yes Yes No No No
Simultaneous streams 1 1 1 2 4

 Hulu is also part of a bundle of Disney+ plus Hulu plus ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. This package includes the ad-supported version of Hulu.

Compare Hulu vs Netflix content

Video library

The Netflix library is larger than that of Hulu. In addition to this library of videos that are included with the membership plan, Hulu members can add on extra content from other providers, increasing the size of the video library.

Original programming

Both video streaming services produce their original content. Hulu’s recent acquisition by Disney is expected to increase the amount of original content on the service, with Hulu and Marvel’s co-production currently filming. Headline original series on Hulu include The Handmaid’s Tale, Catch-22, The Act, and Deadbeat.

Netflix has a large production budget and enters into co-production agreements with other companies. Netflix Originals include The Tiger King, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Stranger Things, Bloodline, Narcos, Grace and Frankie, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Netflix award-winning original content includes Making a Murderer, The Crown, and the movies Roma, The Irishman, and Marriage Story.

Sports programming

Netflix has hardly any sports content, but Hulu does. As this is a video library, you won’t usually expect to watch episodes live on Hulu. However, it carries a number of regular WWE events, showing the latest event live and previous events in the video library. Examples of this sports streaming service are WWE Monday Night RAW, Friday Night Smackdown, and WWE NXT. The service also has a number of UFC review shows and other sports-based series.

Compare Hulu vs Netflix streaming devices

  Hulu Netflix
Web browser Yes Yes
Google Chromecast Yes Yes
iOS mobile app Yes Yes
Android mobile app Yes Yes
Roku Yes Yes
Apple TV Yes Yes
Android TV box Yes Yes
Amazon Fire TV Yes Yes
Samsung smart TV Yes Yes
LG Smart TV Yes Yes
Vizio smart TV Yes Yes
Xbox Yes Yes
PlayStation No Yes
Nintendo Yes Yes

Compare Hulu vs Netflix user experience

Home screen

Both Netflix and Hulu show a large panel promoting their biggest current hit at the top of the screen. This takes up a lot of space and increases the amount of scrolling that a user has to do in order to get to the library. Videos are categorized and shown as scrollable straps of stills form each video with the name of each beneath the image.

The home screens of Hulu and Netflix are very similar.

International Access

Netflix is available in every country in the world except for China, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea. Hulu is available in the USA only. In Japan, Nippon TV uses the Hulu name for its video-on-demand service, but this is a completely separate system.

Netflix is global and Hulu doesn’t offer international access.

Addons

Hulu offers addon channel packages, similar to the system used by cable TV services. Premium channels are HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz. Netflix doesn’t offer add-on channels.

Hulu beats Netflix in terms of add-on channels.

Downloads

Both systems allow users to download videos to watch offline. Only the ad-free version of Hulu allows downloading and the content from addon channels can’t be downloaded. A download is accessible for 48 hours after the moment it is first played and will be accessible for first play for 30 days in both cases. Hulu allows 25 videos to be held offline per account.  to be downloaded and accessible at a time and Netflix allows 100 videos to be downloaded and live per device.

The download allowance of Netflix is better.


 

Hulu pros

  • Good for wrestling fans
  • Wide range of compatible streaming devices
  • Downloadable content

Hulu cons

  • No international access
  • Only one simultaneous streaming allowance

See full Hulu + Live TV review here.


 

Netflix Pros

  • Low price entry-level plan
  • SD quality is good for customers with poor internet service
  • Excellent content suggestion algorithm

Netflix cons

  • No sports programming

See full Netflix review here.