Netflix vs. Hulu: Which is the Better Buy?

Passwords are meant to be kept confidential, except when it comes to internet streaming services. It is pretty likely you have either given out your Netflix or Hulu password or have been given someone else’s. People generally have busy schedules and tend to miss their favorite TV shows and movies during the times they originally air, but thanks to Netflix and Hulu, everyone can catch up on their own schedules. Also, let’s not forget the Netflix and Hulu original programs everyone is hooked on. You don’t want to feel like you are living under a rock when it comes to these shows and movies, so internet streaming services are a big deal, but which one is better for you?

Let’s take a closer look at which passwords are worth asking for, or actually worth paying for:


Netflix was launched in 1998 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. It started as a DVD-by-mail service with 925 DVDS available. The company then switched over to monthly subscriptions in 1999 with no late fees, and it began putting places like Blockbuster in danger of going out of business. Blockbuster even offered to acquire Netflix for $50 million, but the request was denied.

Netflix is also available in Canada, and since January 2016, the company operates in 190 countries. As of October 2016, there are 86 million subscribers that use the service.

Although it began as a go-to for movies, it has now become much more TV-oriented. Netflix known for its original programming in which all the episodes are available at once, encouraging binge watching. The “My list” feature allows viewers to save movies and shows that they want to watch later. Users are allowed to have multiple profiles per account, and the service is commercial free.

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Netflix is convenient and it can be streamed on many devices, such as Blu-Ray disc players, tablet computers, mobile phones, high-definition television (HDTV) receivers, home theater systems, set-top boxes, and video game consoles. On certain remotes, there is even a Netflix button that allows users to instantly assess Netflix on compatible devices.


The first 30-days using the service is a free trial. After the free trial, you can decide if you want the standard package for $7.99 per month, or two screens simultaneously in high definition for $9.99 a month. Add a fourth screen for $11.99 per month. There are also additional prices available for more screens and DVD rentals.

Netflix allows you to order and wait for a DVD in the comfort of your own home, but the service is competing with Redbox, a device that you can instantly rent your movie from.

The disadvantages of subscribing to Netflix include not having your favorite movies and recently aired TV shows available until weeks, months, or sometimes years, later.


Hulu launched in 2008 and began as a free streaming service, but on August 8, 2016, Hulu announced that its services would no longer be free. The service is owned by NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group, Disney-ABC Television Group, and Turner Broadcasting System.

The service is available in the US and Japan with a total of 12 million subscribers.

Hulu is the place to go to watch the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows. It partners with different content providers such as CBS, CW, Showtime, BBC, and Disney-ABC, which allows the company to let customers stream episodes the day after airing. Hulu also offers exclusive shows and a handful of original shows that are becoming popular with its viewers. The service also offers many international TV shows, typically from the UK and Canada.

Another feature that subscribers enjoy is the behind-the-scenes footage from many networks like NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX, Lifetime, A&E, Comedy Central, MTV, VH-1, BET, and others.

Hulu’s “Watchlist” is similar to Netflix’s “My List” in which you can click on a plus sign to add any movie or show in order to watch it later. It also shows new episodes of shows as they become available the day after airing. Unlike Netflix, Hulu informs viewers of when a movie is expiring soon.

Hulu recently launched its Live TV app, and it is now competing with apps like Sling TV, Direct TV Now, and YouTube TV.

The service is available on Roku player, video game consoles, high-definition television (HDTV) receivers, tablets, computers, and mobile phones.

New subscribers can get Hulu for one month free. The prices begin at $7.99 a month with limited commercials or $11.99 for commercial free programming. The new Hulu with Live TV is $39.99 a month and includes limited commercials.

The disadvantages of subscribing to Hulu include having a limited amount of movies to choose from, and a limited number of past, full-season television shows.

Deciding to pay for Hulu or Netflix (or both) completely depends on what you prefer. Moviegoers and fans of the popular Netflix original series such as Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things will choose Netflix. People who prefer watching recently aired television shows and streaming live TV will choose Hulu or the Hulu Live TV app. If you’re not completely sure which services is worth paying for, you can ask a friend or family member to use their accounts to “test” the online streaming services out.

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