Hulu vs. Netflix: A Quick Look

What does Hulu offer that Netflix doesn't?

If you're a bit out of the internet streaming loop, you may have heard someone talk about Hulu enough to wonder what it's all about and whether it's worth trying for yourself. The question for many, however, comes down to whether or not Hulu is a better choice than other streaming services like Netflix.

Hulu on a smartphone
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Hulu Basics

For many cord-cutters, Hulu is a very valid alternative to cable. It's a video streaming service that offers premium video content from television shows to feature-length movies. For a small monthly fee, users gain access to everything on Hulu and can stream as much and as often as they want.

The service offers TV shows and movies through a wide range of partnerships with various studios including MGM, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Television and others. As a joint venture of NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment, and ABC Inc., Hulu has the backing that allows it to go beyond many other video streaming websites and puts it right at the top in competition with Netflix.

In addition to popular episodes and video clips from current TV shows, Hulu has a wide array of older TV shows and movies that would be hard to find anywhere else. This makes it not only the perfect place to watch the latest episode of your favorite current TV show, but also a great place to watch classics, too.

Hulu vs. Netflix

Despite how popular Netflix is, there are at least a couple of good reasons why a cord-cutter might want to choose Hulu instead. Here's what Hulu offers in comparison to Netflix:

Hulu offers live TV

This is the hands-down biggest differentiator between the two services. While Netflix offers a variety of classic television show reruns, it doesn't offer live programming at all.

If you're looking to stay on top of who got voted out on Survivor or watch a live television event like the Super Bowl, you'll want to have Hulu.

Hulu can be cheaper

Both services offer pretty cheap plans. Hulu starts at $5.99/mo for a basic plan without commercials but no live TV. The service can jump to $43.99 or more if you add in live TV and other perks, ad-free programming or unlimited simultaneous screens to watch from.

Netflix offers three different membership plans plus you can still rent movies from its DVD-only plan. It does not offer any live television options. The most basic membership starts at $9/month and tops out at $16/month, depending upon the number of screens you want to watch at the same time.

Hulu produces original content, too

Like Netflix, Hulu also offers its own original series, such as The Handmaid's Tale. It also offers a variety of Hulu-original movies although you don't hear about them as much as you do like the ones that are available on Netflix. From this perspective, the two are equal so the decision will come down to which service has more of the types of original programming you prefer.

If you're hung up on which streaming service to go with, you might as well take advantage of each of their free trials to decide for yourself which one best suits your needs and your taste in entertainment. That's a great way to compare them side-by-side and see which one really meets your needs the best.