More than ten years have passed since the launch of the video-on-demand streaming service Hulu. It is among the best and biggest streaming services in the country with over 40 million subscribers. For many traditional cable subscribers, Hulu is a great cable-cutting substitute. In addition to having a sizable library of over 40,000 TV show episodes and 2,500 movies, it also intends to stream live TV through the Hulu Plus Live TV service.
Despite facing stiff competition in the streaming world, Hulu has managed to carve out its own niche. The only aspect in which it cannot compete, at least for the time being, is reached. Because the platform is only available in the United States, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and even Apple TV Plus win by default in the majority of countries.
Here’s a quick rundown of how Hulu compares to the other major players in the industry.
Netflix is the dominant streaming service, with an unrivaled catalog of original and syndicated content. Hulu, on the other hand, more than holds its own if you’re primarily interested in syndicated TV programming. Its strong ties to Disney and other networks give it a significant advantage over Netflix, and the Hulu Plus Live TV package goes above and beyond what Netflix currently provides.
However, if you’re looking for unique content, the situation is quite different. Stranger Things, House of Cards, and Black Mirror are all Netflix Originals that should not be missed.
At $6.99 per month, Hulu’s ad-supported plan is significantly less expensive than Netflix’s, making it an incredible value if you can put up with the ads. At $13.99, the Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus bundle is a better value than the standard Netflix plan, which costs $15.49.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video is another strong contender, with a large catalog of content and a few worthwhile originals. However, it does not have as many syndicated TV shows as Hulu and does not have anything comparable to Hulu + Live TV.
Although Hulu’s ad-supported plan is extremely affordable, it cannot compete with Amazon Prime in terms of value. Users receive access to Prime Video, free shipping on orders, Kindle ebook rentals, unlimited photo storage, and Whole Foods supermarket discounts for a single monthly (or yearly) fee.
As part of the basic plan, Prime Video provides up to 4K quality media downloads and three simultaneous streams. However, the interface is more difficult to use than Hulu’s, making it difficult to find interesting shows to watch if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
It may seem strange to compare Hulu and Disney Plus because they are both owned by Disney, but they provide distinct services. They share many of the same great streaming shows, but each has its own exclusive originals.
When the content exceeds PG-13, the similarities end. Disney Plus does not provide R-rated content and may censor certain scandalous scenes in older films. Hulu, on the other hand, has no such reservations and provides a much broader range of content.
At $7.99 per month (compared to $6.99 for Hulu), Disney Plus is roughly the same price as Hulu’s ad-supported plan, but it includes 4K streaming on four devices at once, media downloads, and, of course, no ads. Fortunately, both services are available as part of the Disney Plus-Hulu-ESPN Plus bundle for $13.99, which is an incredible value for almost anyone who streams content.
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus is one of the newest streaming services, and it has yet to make a significant impact on consumers. Nonetheless, it has a distinct approach that makes it an excellent alternative to Hulu and others.
Whereas Hulu primarily offers syndicated shows from other networks, Apple TV Plus focuses almost entirely on original content. These include television shows like The Morning Show and films like The Banker, Greyhound, and Hala.
At $4.99 per month, Apple TV Plus is also a steal — even cheaper than Hulu’s ad-supported plan. If you recently purchased an Apple device, you can even get a full year or more for free.
YouTube TV, like Hulu Plus Live TV, is a streaming service that includes live channels. The service has over 85 channels, which puts it slightly ahead of Hulu, but it lacks Hulu’s massive library of on-demand content.
YouTube TV saves you $5 per month at $64.99 per month. Given what you get with the Hulu Plus Live TV subscription, it’s probably a step-down. It comes out on top if all you want are the live channels.
Hulu’s live TV option is still $4 more expensive, with fewer live channels and no access to the Hulu, Disney Plus, or ESPN Plus libraries.
Hulu Plus Live TV vs YouTube TV appears to be an easy win for Hulu, but when some add-ons are considered, the competition becomes a little tighter. YouTube offers unlimited DVR storage, whereas Netflix charges an additional $9.99 per month, for example. As with most competitors, the winner will be determined by your specific requirements.