Hulu vs Netflix: Netflix Nudges Ahead But Hulu Compensates With Content Variety

When it comes to online streaming services, the first two names that come to mind are Hulu and Netflix. While both these content streaming services are popular and have major customer bases, users often wonder aloud which one is better. Of course, we cannot make up your minds for you but we can give you certain pointers when it comes to choosing one of the two. We have compiled a list of features which will help you choose wisely next time onwards. Note that we have compared the paid service of Hulu, dubbed Hulu Plus until some time ago but not anymore, with Netflix.

hulu-vs-netflix
Hulu vs Netflix: as tight a race as it is here

Hulu vs. Netflix-Content and Variety

Hulu allows streaming of video on demand movies and TV shows and essentially encompass TV shows, including current season shows. Netflix allows users to stream video on demand, focusing primarily on movies and older TV shows and offers online DVD and Blu-ray disc rental as well. The Hulu streaming service focuses more on TV shows than movies, obviously. Netflix offers a sumptuous menu of nearly 100,000 movies and TV shows whereas Hulu boasts of a more measly 1,650 shows and 2,500 movies. Having said that, Netflix has strived to become a more TV-oriented service as most of its original content comes in the form of entire seasons of a show. Critically acclaimed titles like House of CardsOrange is the New Black and Black Mirror have been mainstays for some time now. Hulu also boasts of being the online exclusive carrier of the entire Criterion Collection classic movie series, as stated here. Hulu, however, also misses a lot of back seasons of TV shows. We believe this round is a tie. If you want movies, go for Netflix. If you want other content, Hulu should be your destination.

Hulu vs. Netflix-Pricing

This is a very important round and both competitor size each other up. While both services start at $7.99 per month, a major disadvantage with Hulu Plus is ads; Netflix offers an ad-free experience. Hulu charges $11.99 per month to enable users to go completely ad-free. Netflix, while starting at the same price band like we mentioned, charges $9 for streaming on 2 screens simultaneously in both standard definition and HD which goes up to $12 for streaming on 4 screens simultaneously. Users have to cough up an extra $8 every month for DVD delivery plus$2/month for Blu-ray discs. For the upper price band of $11.99, users can stream Hulu service on two or three devices simultaneously.  We like the fact that Netflix offers the ad-free experience for all price bands and Netflix wins this round.

Hulu vs. Netflix-Video Quality

Hulu typically offers 360p, 480p and sometimes 720p HD resolution when it comes to streaming their content. This is low quality when compared to Netflix, which has four tiers of quality when it comes to both audio and video streaming. Tier 1 is DVD Quality and requires mid-range internet connectivity, Tier 2 provides better than DVD Quality video and audio, Tier 3 provides 720p display but needs a high-speed internet connection, while Tier 4 service has been introduced in some regions and provides 1080p HD service. Clearly, Netflix wins this round.

Hulu vs. Netflix-Subscriber base and Availability

Hulu is available only in two countries: the US and Japan and has 12 million subscribers, as reported here. Netflix, on the other hand, is available in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, most Western European countries except Iceland and India, coming in with an impressive 41 countries with subscribers.It boasts of an impressive 86 million users. The Netflix service also allows streaming of dubbed Anime titles. While not all content is available in every location, Netflix wins this round.

Hulu vs. Netflix-Verdict

This is difficult to suggest. It is clear that based on the criteria mentioned above, Netflix is the winner. However, users have differing tastes and different streaming services might appeal to any user. We advise you that you go for Netflix when you wish to binge-watch movies and Hulu when you wish for something else. Or else you can simply subscribe to both options and spare yourself the vagaries of modern technology!

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