Streaming services are only increasing in popularity, with more and more of us looking towards streaming as a permanent alternative to Sky or Virgin Media. However, it can be hard to decide on the best streaming service for your needs.
Netflix is still the most popular service, but it’s rivalled by new competitors like Disney, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and in the US, Hulu is extremely popular too. But is it worth looking into a Hulu subscription if you’re based in the UK?
Which service is best? Netflix or Hulu
Netflix gives strong value for money when it comes to entertainment, and it’s still undefeated when compared to other streaming services like Hulu. And actually, Hulu isn’t available to a UK audience yet, so there’s not really much of a comparison to be had between the two.
If you want to watch Hulu in the UK, you need to sign up to the US version and use a VPN to change your location.
After doing this, you’ll be able to watch Hulu – you can also bundle it with ESPN+ and Disney+, which is why there’s comparison between Hulu and Netflix in the US – it’s a genuine rival as one of the best streaming services.
So. we took a closer look at these two streaming platforms — Hulu and Netflix – to compare the two services and what they offer.
What’s the difference between Netflix and Hulu?
Netflix has more than 200 million users, whereas Hulu has around 50 million at the time of writing.
This is not too shabby when you consider Netflix is still the largest of all the streaming services, and Netflix has a declining market share.
Netflix specializes in movies and tv shows, whereas Hulu is more focussed on showing a complete package.
It has television shows and soap operas from the UK on the service, and they intend to give users the ability to cut their cable bill off completely by offering live TV services like Hulu Live TV.
This is really the main difference between the two – if you’re happy without any live services, you can use Netflix. If you want live TV, looking at Hulu may not be a bad idea.
Netflix vs Hulu: Ads
Until recently, Netflix did not offer advertising and intended to be a completely ad-free experience.
That changes at the end of 2022, when Netflix offers a cheap basic package with ads – though you can still pay for a higher subscription level and have no ads.
Hulu does something similar – for the basic low cost plans, you’ll have ads integrated into your watching experience.
If you’re happy to pay a bit extra each month, you can get rid of the ads when you’re watching TV shows and movies on the platform.
One way that you may be able to get around this is to download content and watch offline, which can result in a cheap ad-free experience.
Does Hulu or Netflix have better content?
To put it simply, Netflix has a lot more content – but it’s not necessarily better.
Though the amount of content in each library varies, Netflix consistently has around 50,000 titles on the platform.
In comparison to this, Hulu only have around 3,000-3,500 titles on their platform, meaning there’s more than ten times the amount of content on Netflix. However, not all of this content can be considered good.
For certain genres like anime, Netflix is much better – it has a good variety of different anime shows and movies that you can watch.
Though Hulu is better for other things – remember that Hulu is majority owned by the Walt Disney company, meaning they have first dibs on anything Disney, ESPN, FX and more.
How do Hulu and Netflix compare in price?
In the past, Hulu appeared as a much cheaper option, though the cheapest Netflix with ads package starts from as low as $6 – many users prefer to opt for the more expensive option and get rid of ads completely.
Both Netflix Basic and Standard UK plans have typically been £6-8, but they’re also released a £5 plan with ads in Britain. In comparison, the cheapest Hulu plan is priced at just $8 per month.
With both platforms, you can have the option of sharing a user with a partner and a roommate when you upgrade to more expensive subscriptions, with Netflix’s largest plan allowing 4 different users within the same package.
Most streaming platforms are hovering around the $6-15 dollar mark nowadays, which translates to £5-14 for us in the UK.
Though, it does appear there’s a race to the bottom at Black Friday times which gives Hulu the upper hand – they often offer $0.99 or $1.99 monthly deals (and then upsell customers with Disney Plus etc).
Netflix vs Hulu: Special features
There aren’t many special features that set streaming services apart – both of these platforms have a low basic plan and a more expensive option that allows you to share it with your family.
Both of them also allow users to save offline and watch their shows later, and they also both have a Watch Party feature that can be used to watch with friends online too.
So really, there’s nothing too special about either platform, with the content provided being the main event.
Netflix or Hulu: Supported devices
Both Netflix and Hulu can be pretty much used across all popular streaming platforms – this includes Roku devices, smart TV platforms, Xbox, PlayStation, Firestick, Android phone and Apple products too.
Though as mentioned, Hulu isn’t readily available if you’re in the UK, so don’t expect the app to be integrated into your Firestick or Smart TV.
Netflix and Hulu: Simultaneous streams
As mentioned, both Netflix and Hulu have a smaller plan that can be used for individual or couple usage if you only need limited devices.
They also both have a premium program that can be used for up to 4 devices, and you can stream across these devices simultaneously too.
Netflix vs Hulu: 4K HDR and surround sound
Both Hulu and Netflix have 4K content, and much of the Original content on each platform is made to a 4K standard (but not all of it).
You’ll only get access to these features when you opt for one of the more expensive streaming plans.
What alternatives are there to Hulu and Netflix?
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video streaming service is a great option for those in the UK, mainly because it comes bundled with all of the other things that Amazon Prime offers (including Amazon Music, Amazon Prime Reading and Amazon Prime delivery).
Though the content library of Amazon Prime may not be the best, it’s definitely worth checking out if you only use streaming services occasionally, as there may be enough on the platform to keep you busy.
Apple TV+ is extremely popular in the US, and it’s only just started to rise in popularity here in the UK.
If you want to opt for quality over quantity then Apple TV+ may be worth checking out, as they offer some great TV series that’s a good mix of dramas, comedy and a growing range of documentaries too.
Because Apple has a large budget, they usually have household names in front or behind the cameras.
There are many popular shows on the platform including the ridiculously popular Ted Lasso, as well as American-Korean drama Pachinko which is also worth checking out.
The winner is..
In the UK, it’s still a no-brainer to sign up for Netflix as the primary streaming service in your home.
When you combine the wide array of films the platform has with the television shows too, it definitely offers the widest variety.
Hulu isn’t yet popular in the UK, though we’ll see how that progresses over the next few years and see what Disney decides to do with Hulu and Disney Plus, as eventually the two may be merged together to give an even better browsing experience.
So, is Netflix better than Hulu? For UK users, Netflix is definitely better than Hulu – however if you’re American, the battle between the two is much closer.