Hulu Vs. Netflix

Netflix and Hulu have a lot in common. They both deliver streaming video to your home through a variety of devices and software options that include (but are not limited to) the browser. Netflix is known for having an abundance of movies and its TV show selection is growing larger by the day.

Hulu is a joint venture between NBC, Fox, Disney, and others. Its primary source of video since the onset has been television programming, offering users access to shows the day after they appear on television. Movies and documentaries are also available through Hulu, and its selection is largely comprised of independent studio or older releases.

Both services provide high-quality video at decent speeds with very little downtime. Over the past two years, I’ve experienced less hangups while Hulu switches between content and commercials, but they do still happen.

Unlike Netflix, Hulu is largely available for free. The premium Hulu Plus subscription gives you the ability to watch from more devices, and access to a slightly larger selection of programming.

Netflix and Hulu also take a different approach to social. Hulu was built on the premise that users should be able to comment about various programs in a thread below the video itself. Netflix, which is more of a Blockbuster alternative than a supplement of or replacement for regular cable service, is more about the video itself than any social interaction between users.

Netflix has the huge advantage of being commercial free. Even Hulu Plus users have to deal with commercials interrupting content on a regular basis. In addition, Netflix keeps track of what you’re watching and makes suggestions based on your ratings of various content. The more you use Netflix, the better it is at finding something to your liking.

Netflix is also integrated into more televisions and media boxes. Hulu exists largely as an app where Netflix tends to be included more as a pre-installed and supported feature. Apple TV is one example of this, allowing users to browse Netflix alongside of iTunes content.

Pricing for the two premium services is the same. Hulu Plus and Netflix (streaming) are both available for US$7.99 per month. Where Hulu has an advantage is through its free content services, delivering most of its television content to users thanks to regular commercial interruptions and sponsored videos. Often, a sponsor will block an entire video, which makes it available commercial free in exchange for the user sitting through a one minute or longer commercial beforehand.

Bottom line: If you’re interested in seeing the latest episode of your favorite television shows, you’re going to want to lean to Hulu as your primary media provider. If you’re more interested in a larger selection of movies and legacy television shows season-by-season, you’ll likely find Netflix to be a better choice.

What about you? Do you prefer one over another? Comments welcome.

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Nottelling

    I like Netflix…better selection and far more movies and FULL TV shows…Hulu has a lot of “snippits” clips and such…I don’t think its really close frankly

  • Nosgoth1979

     

    Out of those two, I prefer Netflix. In fact even though I’m
    a subscriber and employee of DISH Network, and get most of my entertainment
    from my satellite dish, I had Netflix for about a year. It was a pretty good
    service, kind of rounding out my options, but between their content getting
    stale and their price going up dramatically, I cancelled my service with them.
    Then DISH and Blockbuster released the Blockbuster Movie
    Pass, and although I was
    a bit skeptical, I decided to give it a try. It’s definitely impressed me in
    the month and half I’ve had it. With unlimited DVD, Blu-ray, and video game
    rentals with the option of in-store exchanges, 20 movie channels, and a
    selection of streaming content that I find more entertaining than Netflix’s
    was, I feel like I have more options than ever before. And all for $10 a month.
    I’d love to hear what you think of it.