YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV

YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are powerful options for viewing your favorite content. While both offer the ability to stream live TV and store movies and shows in your own library, YouTube TV has no DVR storage limits. Hulu + Live TV, on the other hand, restricts users to 50 hours worth of cloud DVR space. YouTube TV boasts 1 million subscribers, but it barely holds a candle to Hulu, which has over 26.8 million customers. Part of the reason Hulu has such a commanding subscriber advantage is that it’s been in the game since 2008, nearly nine years longer than YouTube TV, which started in February of 2017. YouTube TV has more DVR features and channels than Hulu, but Hulu’s live TV package costs slightly less at $44.99/mo.

Compare YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV plans

Although Hulu offers five different plans, we’re including only the ones that include live TV for a closer comparison to YouTube TV.

Hulu + Live TV (With ads)Hulu + Live TV (No ads)YouTube TV
Monthly price$44.99/mo.$50.99/mo.$49.99/mo.
Free trial length7 days7 days7 days
Number of channels60+60+70+
Cloud DVR storage50 hours50 hoursUnlimited
Number of simultaneous streams223

YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV cost

YouTube TV offers one plan with 70+ titles, three simultaneous streams and six individual accounts per household. All at a $49.99/mo. cost. Hulu offers five plans ranging from $5.99/mo. to $50.99/mo. The plan closest to YouTube TV allows access to 60+ channels, two simultaneous streams and comes in at $44.99/mo. However, users can shell out $5/mo. more for ad-free streaming. These streaming package prices, in particular, are on par with other live TV streaming services like the fuboTV Standard package at $54.99/mo.

Which streaming service is right for you?

Hulu and YouTube TV both offer a desktop and a mobile app. Within each interface, the user can customize their experience by setting subscription and programming preferences. Each provider gives subscribers an extra benefit as well: in-house, original programming.

User experience

The desktop experiences with Hulu and YouTube TV are significantly different. For Hulu, you log into its website and then browse until you find what you want. Once there, you can play and pause videos, move through episodes or entire movies and adjust quality. However, you’re only able to rewind in ten-second intervals.

Both the YouTube TV and Hulu mobile apps offer users with a simplified viewing experience. Content is readily available and organized according to categories and a user’s preferences. The TV apps for Hulu and YouTube have more differences than their mobile counterparts. With the Hulu app, you have the option of accessing a general browsing feature, as well as live TV, a search function and a My Stuff section, which provides you with a view of things you’ve chosen to keep track of. With the YouTube TV app, you can explore upcoming programs, flip between different channels and see recently watched and recorded content. You also have access to your own personalized library.

YouTube TV works well with Apple TV, game consoles, Roku, smartphones, smart TVs, streaming media players and tablets. Hulu is compatible with essentially the same list of devices as YouTube TV. However, its live streaming service is not available on gaming consoles.

Customization

YouTube TV has a subscription center that allows you to manage the user settings on your account. You can update payment methods, change login credentials, pause or even cancel your membership. Hulu allows you to manage your account by switching plans, updating payment information, viewing billing history and managing username and password preferences.

Each subscription allows six separate user accounts and more than one simultaneous stream. YouTube TV allows up to three simultaneous streams and with Hulu, you are limited to viewing on two screens. Hulu subscribers can upgrade to unlimited screens for an additional monthly fee.

For Hulu, Cinemax, HBO, Showtime and Starz come as add-on options along with 4 additional entertainment choices on a live TV plan. Hulu also offers an enhanced cloud DVR, español and unlimited screens. With YouTube TV, you can add a variety of channels for an extra charge. Popular ones include Fox Soccer Plus, NBA League Pass and Showtime.

With YouTube TV, you can customize your programming, whether you’re watching broadcast TV, news, sports or other shows. It also lets you record shows to build your own library of content. With its Live tab, you’re able to set up your own viewing preferences instead of depending solely on the YouTube algorithm.

Hulu has several personalization features, but they’re slightly different from those of YouTube TV. You can set up profiles for different users, as well as your own personal Tastepicker settings and save content in the My Stuff area. Users can also like and dislike shows and movies, which helps Hulu match your preferences. If you’re dissatisfied with what Hulu presents, you can opt to stop receiving suggestions.

Original content

Hulu offers several shows through its line of original programming. These include Castle Rock, Casual, Catch 22, Letterkenny, PEN15, Ramy, The Act, The Looming Tower and Veronica Mars. All YouTube TV subscribers get access to YouTube Originals, such as Bad Internet, Broke, Foursome, I’m Poppy, Kings of Atlantis, Lifeline, Me and My Grandma, Scare PewDiePie, Sherwood, Sideswiped and Wayne.

Disadvantages

With YouTube TV, you run the risk of overpaying for your content, particularly given the steep entry price. If you don’t take advantage of enough of YouTube TV’s specific features, you may regret paying the hefty monthly fee. On the other hand, with the base Hulu + Live TV subscription, you get fewer channels, ads and a limited amount of storage space. So while the lower price is attractive, you may find yourself frustrated with frequent ads or needing to pay even more per month to add unlimited DVR storage.

The takeaway

Both Hulu and YouTube TV streaming services give users an extensive list of programming from sports and movies to current TV shows. However, if you’re willing to pay a few dollars more, YouTube TV offers more channels and unlimited storage space. For people who need to store content without having to worry about going over their limit, YouTube TV is the better choice. If you’re able to get by with a smaller storage total and don’t need as many channels, Hulu + Live TV might be the more economical solution.

Adam Carpenter

Adam enrolled at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts as a business major with a concentration in marketing, but his love for writing inspired him to switch to English. He was captain of the championship-winning track and field team and a scholarship triple jumper and high jumper. He currently writes for ClearVoice, The Daily Hodl (DailyHodl.com), Bitcoin Market Journal, HubShout, the CBS company, Metro, and a variety of private clients across the planet.