In the ever-continuing struggle for better online content and streaming platforms, you may have stumbled across (arguably) the two most popular websites in their field: Netflix and Hulu Plus. The obvious question, then, is which service is more deserving of your time and subscription. To get the definitive answer, we’ll be pulling from information about the content, pricing, accessibility, and “special features” of each service before rendering a verdict.
In the age of primetime channels offloading their content onto online streaming platforms, there are few series worth being called “exclusives” if they haven’t been produced by the streaming company themselves (such as Netflix’s House of Cards or Hemlock Grove). Although the programming on Hulu Plus is less well-known in the original content department, they do still produce some of their own exclusives, including Quickdraw and Deadbeat. In addition, Hulu’s selection of films and television series for younger viewers tends to take the advantage over Netflix’s programming.
Netflix offers superior original content and tends to stock some older gems in film and television alike, but Hulu Plus certainly takes the cake for its upload time. Rather than premiering episodes in an entire season block, like Netflix, Hulu Plus uploads episodes the day after air, in most cases. Even so, it’s hard to beat the recent crop of Netflix originals.
While Hulu does run a free service on its website, the most wide-ranging and celebrated content tends to fall under its Plus category (which does offer a free trial). Netflix, on the other hand, requires a subscription fee after the initial free trial for either its streaming or DVD rental system. Netflix has plans beginning at $7.99 per month, which includes unlimited streaming to 1 SD screen. Its highest plan is $43.99, which allows the subscriber to rent out eight DVDs at one time. There are a wide range of options for Blu-ray rentals, HD screens, and so on.
Hulu Plus, on the other hand, stays at a flat $7.99 per month without question. The only drawback, of course, is that Hulu Plus plays advertisements with much of its programming. This, ostensibly, is to reduce the cost of the service for the subscriber.
Advantage: Hulu Plus
In truth, the two services are nearly identical for their current methods of display and content recommendations. Hulu Plus and Netflix both feature opening screens with programs you’ve recently watched, ought to be watching, or may enjoy watching, and allow you to quickly search up whatever program you desire. The one thing that Netflix does with a bit more flourish, however, is offer users well-crafted profiles to keep their tastes separate.
When it comes to choosing between Netflix and Hulu Plus solely on the basis of their unique advantages and perks, you should know what you hope to get out of your programming. If you’re looking for a network that offers content at a low price and always on time, then Hulu Plus is the route to take. If you’re seeking incredibly high-quality original content, however, Netflix is your best bet. Netflix also has the added benefit of being able to rent DVDs out to its subscribers, which Hulu Plus skips entirely. This category is difficult to judge fairly, since both groups have some excellent attributes.
Overall Winner: Netflix
Thanks to superior original content, a very intuitive and diverse interface for all of its users, and an additional DVD rental service, Netflix takes the crown in this showdown of the streaming services.