Netflix vs Hulu: Which Service is Better?

April 27, 2019

When it comes to picking where to watch the best content, there are certainly a plethora of options today, such as TV, channel apps, and popular streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu. Netflix and Hulu are seemingly the best go-to options for busy, young people to stream a multitude of entertainment (alas, binge-watching). Sitting back and watching two-nine hours of great content after a long day has become one of the best (if not, best) pastimes for youngsters.

 

Photo: Thought Catalog on Unsplash 

 

Nevertheless, it seems the two renowned streaming services are heavily utilized by many millennials either through their parents account, a friend’s account, or subscribing themselves. Thus, great debates have been struck up about the value of each and whether one is better than the other.  As a current Netflix user, switching over to the “other side” thoughts have sometimes popped up, as there could be some hidden gems awaiting on Hulu. Let’s analyze both services in depth to see if there is one that is better than the other.

 

Cost

For young people, cost is a large consideration factor, and both streaming services happen to be cheap in their basic plans. Hulu comes in at roughly six dollars a month, and Netflix at nine. However, the one pro to Netflix is no ads included, which means less of a headache when a show starts to get real interesting. For Hulu, an experience without advertising means an increase in cost, specifically 11.99 a month.

 

Both services offer free one month trials to get a feel for the services, and the type of content available. Hulu does offer more upscale options, such as HBO and Showtime, but the cost is 11-15 dollars more. The basic plans should contain sufficient content for an avid watching high school or college student. Both provide a variety of content in different genres to enjoy.

 

Brand:

It seems like a universally foregone conclusion that millennials think Netflix’s brand is more prominent, and that may be true. This is not to undermine the underrated Hulu, which deserves props as more subscribers could pop up or switch due to Netflix’s lack of well-known, mainstream content in their lineup the last couple months. When one of Netflix’s release months is a bit weaker than others, it’s fair to wonder whether the content on Hulu is more appealing.

 

Content:

Let’s be honest, content is probably the most important aspect to analyze, and the possible deciding feature for potential users. Let’s start with Hulu, where there are plenty of great choices for a younger demographic. Serious dramas such as This Is Us, comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and How I Met Your Mother, (You had to take it down, Netflix) and satirical sitcoms such as Saturday Night Live, Family Guy, and South Park are unique to this platform only. The best part is these shows are available with all the seasons, which means an entire year’s (or a few months’) worth of binge-watching might be set and stone. Hulu also offers old school shows such as Malcolm in the Middle and Boy Meets World along with several reality shows such as Top Chef and Jersey Shore. There is an entire list of other popular primetime sitcoms not mentioned, but you get the point, Hulu offers more great content than socially believed.

 

Netflix is no stranger to including successful and prominent content as well. The platform boasts one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history, Friends. The noteworthy lineup also includes sitcoms such as That ‘70s Show, New Girl, and The Office for some laughs. For some drama, look no further than Scandal, Riverdale, and Gossip Girl.

 

Perhaps, Netflix’s single greatest strength is its original, exclusive content. Rather than mainstream shows gaining prominence, Netflix Originals have become quite popular and built a sturdy reputation. Many youngsters were swept up in the popularity phenomena of some originals such as 13 Reasons Why, On My Block, and You.  In addition, the popular Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things are very successful.

 

Hulu is probably thinking about Netflix originals, so it’s no surprise they have some originals of their own, including the popular The Handmaid’s Tale and Marvel’s Runaways, along with The Mindy Project.

 

It seems Netflix vs Hulu is indeed a rivalry. There is no doubt that Hulu provides excellent content, coming from a Netflix user. There is no definite answer to which is better because opinions vary about what’s streaming-worthy. To give a concrete answer, if you love a wide variety of shows and films, then you should consider either one.

 

Rishi Patel is a senior majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has written as an intern for SPORTalk and Study Breaks Magazine. He also loves to write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as a hobby to expand his writing prowess. He hopes to work as a writer/editor when he graduates.     

 

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