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There’s no denying that Hulu and Netflix are two of the powerhouses when it comes to online streaming. However, if you really had to choose one, which streaming platform is better? In this guide, we’ll pit them both against each other in a series of categories so you can see which is the better choice.
Hulu Vs. Netflix at a Glance
- Cheaper than Netflix yet provides a lot of value
- Allows you to watch live TV at a higher fee
- Works on Nintendo Switch
- Allows ads on their cheapest plan
- Doesn’t allow as many people to stream simultaneously
- Only available in the US
- Allows up to 4 simultaneous streaming
- Doesn’t include any ads in any of their plans
- Allows you to easily access it from 190 countries
- More expensive than Hulu
- Offers high-quality streaming in 4K but at a higher subscription fee
- Doesn’t offer live TV
Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is Netflix.
What Is The Difference Between Them?
From a pure cost standpoint, Hulu is the cheaper plan. You can watch your videos for as little as $7, and when you’re on a budget, this is a significant factor. Of course, this type of plan does include ads though, so if you don’t mind that, the cheaper plan might be worth it. For a plan without ads, that will be $13 per month.
You can actually get good value for your buck with Hulu because you can get an entertainment bundle of Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+. If you get them all, it’s only $14-$20 per month.
Netflix includes three plans, none of which have ads, but which are somewhat more expensive. The Basic plan is $10, the Standard plan is about $15.50, and the Premium plan is $20. If you want more streaming, you need that more expensive plan.
Verdict: Hulu wins since it’s cheaper than Netflix yet still provides a lot of value.
You might have just you and your partner or you and your roommate in your home. If that’s the case, Hulu is just fine since you can all watch your shows simultaneously. However, if you have many people sharing your account, you won’t be able to have more than two people watching at the same time.
Netflix allows you more options in terms of simultaneous streaming because up to four people can stream at once. For those sharing as a family, this might be your best option. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for the Premium plan if you want four streaming options. Even on the Standard Plan, you will only be able to have two streaming options, and on the Basic plan, only one person can be on the account.
In a nutshell, Hulu is less expensive, but Netflix allows you more options if you’re willing to pay more.
Verdict: Netflix allows more people to stream simultaneously.
You may not mind commercials. If this is the case, a few ads in your content may not matter, but let’s face it: most people dislike having any ads interrupting their viewing.
Hulu offers a cheaper plan with ads. If you want to not have any ads, you’ll need to pay for a more expensive plan. You can also download content to watch offline off the highest-tier plan. By contrast, Netflix doesn’t have any ads on any of the plans, even the least expensive ones.
Verdict: Netflix doesn’t have any ads on any of their plans.
Hulu only works in the United States, so if you’re traveling, you can’t go outside of the states and still expect to watch. The exception is if you use a VPN to watch Hulu outside of the US. However, this comes with an added cost and hassle for a VPN.
By comparison, Netflix is more international since it works in over 190 countries. The shows you have available will differ depending on where you are, which is why some people use VPNs to access other content not available in their country, but you’ll still be able to easily access Netflix anywhere you are.
Verdict: Netflix is available in over 190 countries so you can access it easily from almost anywhere.
You want the best quality when you are streaming your shows. Hulu only provides 4k streaming for limited titles like their original and exclusive titles. Netflix will not provide you with anything in 4K unless you’re at the highest subscription rate of $20 per month. However, at this tier, everything you watch on Netflix will be in 4K.
Verdict: Netflix offers high-quality viewing in 4K.
You can watch live TV on Hulu. Of course, this means that you would need to pay a much higher subscription price of around $70 per month, but you can indeed watch shows on live TV. Netflix doesn’t have this option at all.
If you want to make sure you have all the content that you would have if you had cable, Hulu would be your best bet here.
Verdict: Hulu gives you the option of watching live TV.
You can watch both Netflix and Hulu on multiple devices—on Android, iOS, game consoles, and even on streaming options like Roku and Fire TV, computers, and certain smart TVs. In a nutshell, you can pretty much watch both of these on any device.
Except for the Nintendo Switch. If you have a Switch, you can use it to watch Hulu, but you cannot use it to watch Netflix.
Verdict: Hulu works on Nintendo Switch but both Hulu and Netflix work on pretty much the same devices.
Offline viewing is almost essential these days as people travel and want to watch their shows on the plane or on the road.
You can do this on any of the Netflix tiers, but with Hulu, you’re only allowed to download content to watch if you’re on one of the ad-free plans. Netflix will let you save up to 100 downloads per device total, and if you have four people total watching at once, that means 400 total movies and TV shows.
Verdict: Netflix allows for more offline viewing whereas Hulu only allows downloading on their ad-free plan.
Undeniably, both Netflix and Hulu have rather impressive content libraries. Netflix does have a larger one though, with over 100,000 titles, while Hulu only has around 50,000 at most. However, this may not matter to you. You might actually prefer one or the other based on what shows they specifically have.
They both have their own original shows and movies, although only Hulu will add weekly episodes of the same content you normally see on TV. This might be a better option for you if you have current shows you want to catch up on. Netflix might have the shows you want to watch though, like Stranger Things, for example.
The question is which you’d prefer: newer content with Hulu or more content with Netflix. In some sense, it might depend on what you want to watch. Hulu can also add Live TV channels or other add-ons that are pricier, but available. You can do the same with Netflix by adding something like YouTube TV—it just depends on what you want to pay.
Verdict: Netflix offers over 100,000 titles and releases many original titles.
You can watch Hulu using your Nintendo Switch, and you can also watch with your friends—remote friends! You can spend time together syncing your streams with the Watch Party features, which is a great way to continue watching with your family when you live far away.
You can only do this if you’re watching on a web browser, but Netflix doesn’t have any features like this.
Verdict: Hulu has interesting special features like remote friends!
For the most part, both are easy to use and rather intuitive to navigate around. Both also have apps that can be installed on any of your devices.
You have similar layouts between both Hulu and Netflix, with categories that will let you choose what you want to watch. However, Netflix has side-ways scrolling on a black background, which might feel better on your eyes as you watch. Both let you pick up where you left off though, even if you’re signing in on a different device.
Verdict: It’s a tie between both.
You can create user profiles on both accounts: five on Netflix and six on Hulu. This will let you save and keep track of all your shows and movies, so if you want to watch on another device, you can easily make that switch.
Both offer parental control options. You can use Hulu to set restrictions through their profile so that they won’t see any inappropriate content on their feed. You can toggle your settings on Netflix too with soft and hard measures. Basically, soft measures are setting a maturity level for a certain profile, while hard controls require users to input their own 4-digit code to watch mature content.
Verdict: It’s a tie.
Overall, Netflix gets our vote of confidence. If you’re looking for endless entertainment, you can’t go wrong with Netflix’s broad content library. You’ll also enjoy watching more content in 4K with Netflix and how you can watch on more devices simultaneously.