Hulu and Netflix are among the top tier of the streaming video-on-demand services that we have in the market today. Differences between them are minimal and when it comes to looking at Hulu versus Netflix, choosing between the two will depend on a few factors. These factors are price, content and compatible devices.
Both Hulu and Netflix offer TV shows, documentaries, and movies and each of the streaming services can be accessed through computers, mobile apps, and video game consoles. Of the two, however, Netflix has the largest catalog of movies with plenty of classic TV shows. Hulu mostly stocks up on the current TV shows to complement their smaller movie selection.
Right off the bat, Netflix has Hulu beat on a couple of fronts. First, Netflix has a worldwide reach of over 190 countries, while Hulu is only available in the US. And second, Netflix operates without any ads while Hulu still depends on ads for revenue. For a package with limited ads on Hulu, you will have to top up the fees and get the $11.99 package.
See also: Hulu vs. Hulu Plus Live TV
Netflix offers three subscription packages in its viewing plan. The first one is the Basic package which offers content in standard definition (SD) resolution and only allows for one viewer at a time.
The next one is the Standard package which goes for $12.99 a month and allows for two users to stream content in high definition (HD) at the same time. Lastly, there’s the Premium package which costs $15.99 a month for content in HD and 4K and allows up to four users to stream at the same time.
Hulu, on the other hand, offers 4K HDR resolution on its cheapest pricing plan which goes for $5.99 per month. To watch with only a limited amount of ads, you’ll need to subscribe to the $11.99 per month package. Both the subscriptions (with ads and with limited ads) only allow one user to stream at a time.
If we’re comparing content between the two in terms of quantity, Netflix wins. This could be attributed to their yearly production budget of $13 billion, coupled with their long existence in the market. They produce some of the best content in the market today with original shows like The Irishman, Orange is the new Black and Stranger Things. They also have the budget to buy complete seasons of past shows that are still popular, like Friends and Breaking Bad.
Hulu has the upper hand when it comes to uploading new content onto its platform. Because of their cordial relationships with a majority of the networks like ABC and FOX, Hulu puts out new shows the day after they go on air. Unlike Netflix who usually acquire the rights to a show approximately three to twelve months after airing. This is why Netflix invests so much on producing its original content which can only be found on their platform – a move that has greatly paid off.
Netflix has the luxury of being a company on its own. Hulu, however, is owned by Disney (67%) and NBC/Comcast (33%). Because of this conflict, Disney is in the process of pulling their content from Netflix (such as Jessica Jones) to transfer it to their streaming platform, the recently launched Disney Plus. And then content that will not be suitable for Disney Plus subscribers will be uploaded to Hulu. Their association with Disney is, therefore, a big plus for Hulu.
Even with their crowd-pulling all-original content, this move could hurt Netflix. But as a subscriber, be on the lookout for who will be carrying your content in the future.
To access both Netflix and Hulu, you can use any number of devices. It is almost impossible to find a device that won’t accept either of them. Below are some of these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android Smartphones
- Video game consoles like Xbox and PlayStation devices.
- iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
When it comes to what device to use to watch either of them, both Netflix and Hulu offer a handful of options. It’s important to note that Hulu’s website does not sync with Apple products including iPads since it uses Flash. To get past this problem, you’ll have to subscribe to the Hulu Plus Live TV package that is compatible with many of Apple’s devices.
Finally, we have the feature of downloading content to be watched offline later. In this department, Hulu has limited the shows and movies that can be downloaded; more than that they have also limited the users that can use this option depending on their subscription. For some reason, Hulu has been lax with this feature compared to its competitor Netflix.
With Netflix on the other hand, regardless of which package you’re on, the option of downloading is available for your convenience.