Hulu is an over-the-top streaming service that produces original TV series and movies, along with curating an expansive library of licensed content. Then, there’s Hulu’s big brother: Hulu + Live TV. As its name implies, Hulu + Live is a live TV streaming service that also includes on-demand Hulu. Between the two formats, there are four major plans. On top of that, Hulu offers premium add-ons. And in some cases, Hulu can be bundled together with other services.
All of that is great because it means more flexibility when it comes to cost and content. But as you’re trying to discern which of the Hulu plans are right for you, this might start to feel overwhelming. Don’t fret! Here, you’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of all of Hulu’s packages, pricing and perks to help you get set-up in no time. And both Hulu and Hulu + Live TV come with a free trial, so you can try things out without spending a penny.
To get us started, let’s cover the question everyone asks first: how much does Hulu cost? As you can see in the table below, there’s a significant difference between the regular Hulu price and the Hulu Live TV price. Let’s dive into what determines that price jump and which Hulu membership is best for you.
|Hulu (With ads)||Hulu (No ads)||Hulu + Live TV (With ads)||Hulu + Live TV (No ads)|
|Free trial length||1 month||1 month||7 days||7 days|
|Number of on-demand titles||4,000+||4,000+||4,000+||4,000+|
|Number of channels||None||None||60+||60+|
|Cloud DVR storage||None||None||50 hours||50 hours|
|Number of simultaneous streams||2||2||2||2|
|Live sports available||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Hulu on-demand packages and pricing
There are two Hulu subscription plans for its on-demand service. You can choose Hulu (With Ads) for $5.99/mo. or you can upgrade to the Hulu Plus no-commercial plan for $11.99/mo. The only difference you’ll find here is whether you watch Hulu without commercials or with them. Outside of that distinction, the user experience is identical. Both plans come with a one-month free trial, and you can watch two screens concurrently. Most importantly, the two packages give you access to the full Hulu library and all its shows like Little Fires Everywhere or The Handmaid’s Tale. For more information about the movies and shows the service has to offer, take a look at our Hulu review.
There’s one small caveat to discuss. Hulu ads still run on select shows (including Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder) regardless of which plan you subscribe to. However, the list of these shows is incredibly limited, and Hulu puts a clear disclaimer on them.
Hulu Live packages and pricing
Like Hulu’s on-demand service, the Hulu Live TV cost depends on whether you want to watch ads. The two tiers only differ slightly in price: Hulu + Live TV (With ads) runs for $54.99/mo., while Hulu + Live TV (Without ads) goes for $60.99/mo. Beyond that, both plans have the same features: two simultaneous streams, 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and 60+ channels. Additionally, the full Hulu library comes included with both plans. For Hulu + Live TV, the free trial only lasts one week. Check out our review for more information about Hulu + Live TV.
After you choose a base package, Hulu offers several add-on channels and features. You can mix and match these however you please — or ignore them altogether and stick with the basic packages.
With any plan, you can choose the following add-ons:
- Cinemax ($9.99/mo.) — This add-on offers hundreds of popular movies and TV shows, plus behind-the-scenes exclusives.
- HBO Max ($14.99/mo.) — Consolidate your billing by adding HBO Max to your Hulu account and get access to all your favorites like Friends, Game of Thrones and Westworld right alongside your Hulu shows.
- Showtime ($10.99/mo.) — With Showtime, you can watch the latest hit movies and catch up on popular TV series like Billions, The Chi and The L Word: Generation Q. Plus, the service broadcasts exclusive live boxing matches.
- Starz ($8.99/mo.) — For fans of Outlander and Power, subscribe to Starz alongside Hulu to make keeping up with your favorites even easier.
Unfortunately, there are no discounts for subscribing to more than one of these add-ons, so each one will increase your monthly costs.
Add-ons that are only available for Live TV plans:
- Enhanced Cloud DVR ($9.99/mo.) — Upgrade from 50 hours of DVR to 200 hours of cloud-based DVR. This add-on also allows you to fast-forward through commercials during your recordings.
- Entertainment add-on ($7.99/mo.) — Choose this option if you want access to an additional 10 lifestyle channels, including Cooking Channel and Lifetime Movies.
- Español add-on ($4.99/mo.) — Add six Spanish-language channels to your line-up, including ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes and NBC Universo.
- Unlimited screens ($9.99/mo.) — With this add-on, you can watch an unrestricted number of simultaneous streams while at home. However, you can only watch on three mobile devices at a time.
- Unlimited screens and enhanced Cloud DVR ($14.98/mo.) — If you want both unlimited screens and extra Cloud DVR, Hulu + Live TV offers a slight discount to add both to your account.
Want to peruse all of Hulu’s channels to make sure your favorite broadcasts are included? Check out the full Hulu channel line-up for a more complete picture.
Hulu pricing compared
When compared to other on-demand services, Hulu’s monthly costs remain on the lower end. Its two main competitors are Netflix ($8.99-15.99/mo.) and Amazon Prime ($8.99-12.99/mo.), both of which cost slightly more than Hulu when you consider similar plans. More niche streaming services like Apple TV+ ($4.99/mo.), Disney+ ($6.99/mo.), Quibi ($4.99/mo.), Showtime ($10.99/mo.) and Starz ($8.99/mo.) run slightly cheaper. Still, they hardly compare when it comes to Hulu’s extensive catalog of titles. Then, there’s HBO Max ($14.99/mo.) and its HBO counterparts, which are priced considerably higher than even Hulu’s no-commercial plan.
All in all, Hulu is an excellent bang for your buck. It’s one of the more affordable options, and it doesn’t skimp on content. Even if you choose to upgrade, Hulu costs less than its competitors’ comparable plans, so you can still end up saving yourself a few dollars each month.
Hulu + Live TV is less of a bargain than its regular streaming service counterpart, but that’s not to say it’s not worth it — plenty of people love this service.
If you’re looking for the cheapest deal, you’re better off looking at streamers such as AT&T Watch ($15/mo.), Philo ($20/mo.) or Sling TV (plans starting at $30/mo.) Those three platforms will unquestionably save some money out of your pocket, but there are trade-offs. None of them compete with Hulu + Live TV’s channel coverage, nor do they offer a back catalog of TV shows and movies like the Hulu library.
Hulu + Live TV isn’t the only live streaming service in its price bracket. YouTube TV comes in at $49.99/mo., only slightly cheaper and again without Hulu’s library. If you’re looking for sports coverage, it’s worth checking out fuboTV as an alternative. At $54.99/mo., it costs the same as Hulu + Live TV (With ads). The two services are comparable when it comes to sports coverage, depending on which league you want to watch. fuboTV is known for its soccer coverage, but it doesn’t have ESPN. In contrast, Hulu + Live TV has less international soccer but offers all of ESPN’s channels.
There’s a reason Hulu + Live TV is one of the top live TV streaming options, regardless of its price. At the end of the day, it offers more coverage and content than most of its competitors, making it a tough one to beat.
Sign-up for a Hulu free trial
Ready to give Hulu a try? Lucky for you, the Hulu sign up process is simple. The service offers an array of free trials so you can test it out worry-free. If you’re only interested in Hulu’s on-demand streaming service, you can sign up for an account (credit card required) and get one month completely free.
Unfortunately, Hulu + Live TV’s free trial isn’t quite as long. Still, you can get one week free when you sign up for either live TV plan. All you’ll need is a credit card to create an account.
Hulu and Hulu + Live TV are excellent options for anyone looking for an on-demand streaming service, live TV programming or both! With its variety of plans, you can be sure that you’re only paying for what you want. And if you decide you want even more content, Hulu is a part of the Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu bundle. You can get all three services for the discounted price of $12.99/mo. (that’s a 25% savings when compared to how much the three cost individually). You can even subscribe to the bundle right from your Hulu account to keep all your billing in one place.
For even more information on how to save money on Hulu, visit our Hulu deals page. And remember, be sure to take advantage of the free Hulu trials at no extra cost to you!