Hulu review

Hulu highlights

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Get 65+ channels along with a library of 43,000+ episodes and 2,500+ movies on-demand! Bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ for even more great content.

Hulu review

When it comes to balancing your favorite network shows with the series you need to watch to keep up with office chit-chat, Hulu streaming offers the best of both worlds.

In 2008, NBC officially launched Hulu in partnership with Fox’s parent company, News Corporation. In its first year alone, Hulu’s offerings increased from just a few dozen shows to thousands of shows and series.

In 2018, Hulu had 25 million paying subscribers. Recently, The Walt Disney Company reported that Hulu ended the second quarter of 2020 with 32.1 million paid subscribers.

So how does Hulu work? Through the Hulu app or Hulu online, you can stream on-demand episodes of top shows just a day after they air, Hulu Original shows and lots of movies. With certain plans, you also have the option to watch and record live TV or bundle with other services like ESPN+ and Disney+.

Why Hulu may be the right streaming service for you

Hulu streaming is ideal if you’re a cord-cutter but still want to watch network TV shows. It offers access to a wide variety of current and past seasons of shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, South Park, This is Us and more. Even if you’re not a regular network TV-watcher, there’s still plenty to explore in Hulu’s massive content library. Plus, its DVR capabilities make it a useful service for recovering DVR hoarders.

Keep in mind that Hulu doesn’t have as many movies as other services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, so if you fancy yourself a movie buff, this service may not be right for you.

Compare Hulu packages and pricing

Hulu allows you to try out different subscription levels and add-ons for free, and you can switch back and forth between plans from month to month. The Hulu on-demand plans offer a 30-day free trial, while the Hulu + Live TV options provide free 7-day trials.

Compared to other major streaming services like Netflix, whose plans start at $8.99/mo., or Amazon Prime, which starts at $12.99/mo., Hulu gives you access to awesome content for as little as $5.99/mo. for basic on-demand streaming with ads. Ad-free live TV streaming will set you back $50.99/mo., which is more expensive than comparable services like Sling TV, which starts at $25/mo. for entry-level live TV plans.

When it comes to movies, Hulu falls short of Netflix and Amazon Prime. While Hulu has around 2,500 movies available, Netflix has around 4,000 and Amazon Prime has close to 18,000 movies available for streaming.

Here’s a quick look at the available Hulu packages:

Hulu
(With ads)
Hulu
(No ads)
Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ BundleHulu + Live TV
(With ads)
Hulu + Live TV
(No ads)
Monthly price$5.99$11.99$12.99$54.99$60.99
Free trial length1 month1 monthNone7 days7 days
Number of titles and channels 2,500+ films and 43,000+ episodes 2,500+ films and 43,000+ episodes50,000+ episodes, films and live sports content 2,500+ films, 43,000+ episodes and 65+ channels 2,500+ films, 85,000+ episodes and 65+ channels
Cloud DVR storageNoneNoneNone50 hours50 hours
Number of simultaneous streams22222
Live sports streaming availableNoNoYesYesYes
Offline viewing NoYesNoNoYes

Hulu offers their subscribers several network and premium add-ons to choose from. Customize the way you watch with enhanced Cloud DVR storage, unlimited screens and premium additions like SHOWTIME and HBO Max. Browse the full list of Hulu add-ons to see each feature’s details and pricing.

If you’re not ready to commit to a plan or add-ons, we recommend trying different options out with the free trials Hulu makes available. If you decide a plan is not for you or that you want more features, Hulu makes it easy to switch plans from month-to-month—and you can cancel anytime.

Need more info? Compare Hulu packages and add-ons in-depth to find your perfect plan.

Hulu bundles, deals and free trials

Hulu offers several different ways to save on their services, from a bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ to free trials to test subscriptions and add-ons, risk free. Learn more in-depth about Hulu deals offers and promotions in 2020.

Bundle Hulu with ESPN+ and Disney+ for $12.99/mo.

If you want to experience the Hulu TV library but have FOMO for a wider range of entertainment, bundling with Disney Plus and ESPN+ is a great option—and it won’t break the bank.

This bundle automatically comes with the standard version of Hulu, which is an ad-supported experience. If you can’t stand ads interrupting your binge-watching flow, upgrade your Hulu subscription to the ad-free on-demand service for $18.99/mo. Additionally, if you want to sub in Hulu + Live TV (With ads), the bundle will set you back $61.99/mo. and Hulu + Live TV (no ads) will cost $67.99/mo..

Spotify Student subscribers get a special Hulu deal

If you are a student, subscribing to Spotify Premium Student will give you access to Hulu (with ads) and SHOWTIME for $4.99/mo.. This promotion is a great way to enjoy all three services for a low monthly price, but you’ll have to forgo ad-free Hulu and add-ons to qualify. 

See related: Details of this offer are available on the Spotify website.

Try Hulu with a 30-day free trial, cancel whenever

Hulu takes the stress out of commitment by offering a 30-day free trial for their on-demand services (both with and without ads) and a 7-day free trial for Hulu + Live TV (both with and without ads).

Hulu also lets you take their add-ons for a test run. Try SHOWTIME, HBO, Cinemax and Starz for seven days, free. Every Hulu free trial can be cancelled anytime. The Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+ bundle does not currently offer a free trial.

Device compatibility

Most modern smart TVs, including iOS and Android models, support Hulu. If you’re working with an older TV, though, you may need to use supplementary technology to access the service. The desktop version of the app gives you the same search and customization features as the TV-based interface. The Hulu Plus mobile app allows you to watch your movies and TV shows on the go, right on your phone.

Here are some of the devices that give you access to Hulu:

Hulu features

While Hulu’s movie library is not as extensive as other competitors, the service still offers plenty of features to make your streaming experience enjoyable.

Never miss another show with Cloud DVR

Subscribe to Hulu + Live TV and get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage space to record your favorite shows. Though the baseline allowance of 50 hours is lower than YouTube TV (unlimited hours) and AT&T TV Now (500 hours), Hulu Cloud DVR storage never expires, so your recorded shows will never be deleted automarically. 

If you’re hooked on your DVR and 50 hours of storage doesn’t cut it, you can always add-on up to 200 hours of Cloud DVR storage.

Refine your queue with Tastepicker

Tell Hulu what types of shows, movies and genres interest you most, and Tastepicker will give you content recommendations.

Store you favorite shows

Use the My Stuff feature to saveTV shows and movies you want to keep track of or watch later.

Get tailored recommendations

Hit Like or Dislike to let the service know if you enjoyed a particular show. Hulu uses the information to suggest content similar to what you’ve “Liked” in the past.

Enjoy a better experience with Stop Suggesting

This feature comes in handy when you see content on Hulu that doesn’t interest you. Use the Stop Suggesting function to put an end to seeing a particular recommendation.

What to watch on Hulu

Hulu includes current and previous seasons of hundreds of shows and movies as well as Hulu Original content. With a Hulu + Live TV, watch live or record popular shows.

Live TV channels

Hulu + Live TV subscriptions offer access to roughly 65 channels across national and local entertainment, news and sports. Top partners include ABC, CNN, ESPN, Food Network and FOX. Key channels missing from the Hulu Live lineup are AMC, MTV and Comedy Central.

Check out the full list of Hulu channels to see if your favorites are available.

Shows and movies

Shows

You can browse by network, TV show, movie, genre, Hulu originals and more. There’s a huge bank of network content to choose from, including Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Modern Family, Saturday Night Live and The Voice.

Movies

Hulu has over 2,500 classic and new movies to choose from in its library. Some of the top movies to watch now on Hulu include 2020 Oscar Best Picture Parasite, the 1967 film The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman and The Dark Knight, the second installment of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Original content

The service offers a variety of critically-acclaimed original television content like The Act, Castle Rock, Catch-22, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mindy Project, Ramy and Shrill. It also has a growing list of original movies like Crime + Punishment, Frye Fraud, Minding the Gap and Too Funny to Fail.

Our hot take

So is Hulu worth it? Well, there’s a reason Hulu is among the biggest players in streaming right now. Its huge library of third-party and original content makes it a draw for lots of viewers. Hulu’s movie library is not as extensive as some of its competitors, so if you pride yourself on being a movie connoisseur, a streaming service like Netflix might be a better choice. However, if you’re a TV-lover and enjoy DVR and live TV capabilities, Hulu’s free trial is worth a spin.

Sign up for Hulu
Start a 7-day free trial

Get 65+ channels along with a library of 43,000+ episodes and 2,500+ movies on-demand! Bundle with Disney+ and ESPN+ for even more great content.

Margaret Manning