Combined the streaming services are only $16 a month
I subscribe to both Netflix and Hulu Plus and canceled my Dish subscription over 1 year ago. Never have I been more satisfied with both movies and TV available to me and my family.
Some call this “Cutting the Cord.” I’ve still got plenty of things corded so it’s more like Jumping Ship. Onto a less expensive, yet surprisingly improved ship.
Screw satellite: They draw you into a great deal: “25 bucks a month! All channels, HBO, Showtime, Starz and Cinemax.” Those premo channels disappear in 3 months, your rate upticks and the next year your suddenly paying 52 bucks wondering what happened. Want to make a deal with them? BAM! You’re on for another 2 year contract.
Screw cable: Same thing except it costs more.
Do you like sports enough that ESPN, NFL, and Fox Sports are critically important? Then you’re screwed. (Editor’s note: You’re probably not reading this website either)
Screw regular broadcast: Yeah it’s free with an antenna and I’ve got it, but when your success rate of finding a good show is less than 10%, you’re not wasting money, but you’re wasting time.
Hulu Plus and Netflix work as a great pair. Each are an easy $7.99 a month, no contract, and provide very different experiences. It’s those differences that make it valuable to have both instead of one or the other. Here’s why:
Netflix is mostly for movies.
Hulu Plus is mostly for fresh TV.
(Note: The “plus” in Hulu means it can be watched on a TV or mobile device. You can get all of the content free on your laptop. I use a Roku box, which plugs into my TV and gets wireless internet. It’s likely the best streaming device right now.)
Hulu Plus is for TV because it has fresh up-to-date shows. Episodes are added the next day, so shows like The Daily Show or Bob’s Burgers are available just after airing on TV. Comedy Central was my favorite cable channel and Hulu seems to get all their new shows. Episodes are added on a consistent basis so there’s usually something fresh. It’s no big deal watching the Colbert Report one day late.
It must be said that Hulu Plus has commercials, but it’s usually no more than two per break – way less than cable or broadcast.
While Netflix has some excellent TV shows, they are inconsistently updated by entire seasons, never by episodes. For instance, Louie on Netflix has just 2 seasons available. Season 3 started February 2012 and there’s no word when or if it will arrive. (Netflix recently quit giving advanced notices on what’s coming or going.) Portlandia just got it’s third season, but I think the timing was to help promote season 4 on IFC.
We’ve all clicked through Netflix saying “seen it, seen it, seen it.” When that happens, I head over to Hulu Plus to see what’s new.
Here’s a short list of constantly updated Hulu TV shows:
The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, Family Guy, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Community, Parks and Recreation, the Office, a bunch of crappy reality shows and others from ABC, NBC, FOX, TBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and on.
I’m looking forward to South Park season 17 on Hulu and that show isn’t available on Netflix at all. Both services have Family Guy, but Netflix hasn’t been updated for 2 years and Hulu will have fresh episodes starting September 30th. Tons of new shows will be updated or added this fall.
Are you a Sci-Fi nerd? Hulu just announced a new lineup of BBC Sci-Fi’s including Dr. Who with season 7 that’s not available on Netflix.
Hulu for movies sucks, but that’s not their game. While they have occasionally interesting movies – right now popular ones are Saw, Amityville Haunting, Final Cut – I don’t think I’ve watched an entire Hulu movie ever. Commercials are more annoying for movies and their selection is poor, but who cares? I’ve got Netflix for movies.
Point is, together Hulu+ and Netflix together make a super package at 16 bucks total. It’s not like Amazon Prime versus Netflix – they’re libraries are very similar. Hulu+ isn’t trying to compete directly with Netflix and vice versa. They both have different and great content. If you already have Netflix, an additional $7.99 for Hulu Plus is nothing. If you have cable and don’t need the sports channels, it’s time to jump to a less expensive, slightly improved ship.