January 28, 2021

Hulu Cost and Plans

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Hulu is one of the oldest streaming services, and one of the most popular. Find out how much Hulu costs and how it compares to competitors like Netflix down below.

What Is Hulu?

Hulu is one of the most popular streaming services today. They're best known for their on-demand streaming library, which is home to series like The Handmaid's Tale. With plans starting at just $5.99 per month, it's easy to see why they're so popular.

What some people don't realize is that Hulu actually has 4 different subscription plans. Some of them even include live TV streaming for cord cutters who don't want to sacrifice cable offerings.

Find out all about Hulu costs, features, and more down below:

Hulu Subscription Plans and Cost

Hulu offers 4 subscription plans, which range from $5.99 per month all the way up to $70.99 per month. Which Hulu plan deserves your hard-earned money? It depends on what you're looking for from a streaming service.

All 4 plans give you access to their on-demand library of TV shows and movies. With the more expensive plans, you also get live TV channels.

Here's what you get with each Hulu Subscription Plan:

  • Hulu Basic: $5.99 per month; access to streaming library only
  • Hulu (No Ads): $11.99 per month; access to streaming library without ads
  • Hulu + Live TV: $64.99 per month; access to streaming library and 65+ live channels
  • Hulu + Live TV (No Ads): $70.99 per month; access to ad-free streaming library and 65+ live channels

Hulu No Ads plans have a mostly ad-free streaming library, with the exception of Grey's Anatomy and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. These shows have short ad breaks between episodes.

All Live TV channels go on commercial breaks, just like regular cable TV.

The price leap between Hulu Basic and Hulu + Live TV is pretty big. But that's because the Live TV plans come with more than 65 live channels, like Disney Channel, CBS, and FX. If you're looking to cut the cord on your cable TV service, this can be an excellent alternative.

Hulu also offers a ton of add-ons and bundles so you can get even more of the content you want. Of course, you'll have to pay more for them. Find out if these extras are worth it for you.

What Can I Watch on Hulu?

With prices that start at $5.99 per month, Hulu is one of the cheapest streaming services out there today. But does that low price sacrifice content?

While it doesn't have the biggest streaming library, Hulu definitely has a good range of popular shows and movies that's frequently updated.

If you opt for one of the live TV plans, you'll get access to these channels too:

  • ABC
  • ABC News Live
  • CBS
  • CBSN
  • Fox
  • NBC
  • ACCN
  • Adult Swim
  • A&E
  • Animal Planet
  • BTN
  • Bloomberg Television
  • Boomerang
  • Bravo
  • Cartoon Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • Cheddar
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • CNN International
  • CoziTV
  • The CW
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • E!
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • ESPN College Extra
  • Food Network
  • Fox Business
  • Fox News
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • Freeform
  • FX
  • FXM
  • FXX
  • FYI
  • Golf Channel
  • HGTV
  • History
  • HLN
  • ID
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • MSNBC
  • MotorTrend
  • NASA TV
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo WILD
  • NBCSN
  • Olympic Channel
  • Oxygen
  • Pop
  • QVC
  • SEC Network
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • SyFy
  • TBS
  • TCM
  • Telemundo
  • TLC
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel
  • truTV
  • Universal Kids
  • USA
  • Vice

Hulu offers over 65 channels, but your exact channel selection depends on your area. Depending on where you live, you'll have access to different local news and sports channels.

Is Hulu worth it?
Starting at just $5.99 per month, Hulu is a good deal for binging the latest TV shows and movies. They also offer a great cable alternative. Hulu + Live TV offers 65+ channels along with their streaming library.

If you didn't see all the channels you want (HBO Max, anyone?), don't worry. You can still add them onto your Hulu subscriptions, with an extra cost. Learn more about Hulu add-ons below.

Features and Add-Ons

Hulu has a host of extra options for you to customize your viewing experience. Here are all the extras you can get through Hulu and how much they cost:

Premium Networks
You can add on four channels to your Hulu subscription:

  • HBO Max ($14.99 per month)
  • SHOWTIME ($10.99 per month)
  • Cinemax ($9.99 per month)
  • STARZ ($8.99 per month)

With these add-ons, you can watch premium content from the Hulu app. While this content won't go on commercial breaks, you might run into ads for other shows and movies before certain videos.

Live TV Add-Ons
All Live TV subscribers can stream from 2 screens at a time and get 50 hours of DVR recording. If that's not enough, you have the option to add these features:

  • Unlimited Screens Add-On ($9.99 per month): Stream live TV on any number of supported devices
  • Enhanced Cloud DVR Add-On ($9.99 per month): 200 hours of storage, plus the ability to fast forward through ads in recordings
  • Or get both for $14.99 per month

Live TV subscribers can also add more channels to their plan with the Español Add-on ($4.99 per month) or the Entertainment Add-on ($7.99 per month). Here's what you get with each of them:

Español Add-on:

  • CNN en Español
  • Discovery en Español
  • Discovery Familia
  • ESPN Deportes
  • FOX Deportes
  • History Channel en Español
  • NBC Universo

Entertainment Add-on:

  • American Heroes Channel
  • CNBC World
  • Cooking Channel
  • Crime + Investigation
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Family
  • Discovery Life
  • DIY
  • Great American Country
  • Military History Channel
  • Science

Bundle Options
If multiple streaming services are calling your name, you can save money by bundling them together. You can get Hulu Basic, Disney+, and ESPN+ together for $12.99 per month. All three services would cost $25.97 per month if you got them separately.

Or, upgrade to Hulu (No Ads) with Disney + and ESPN+ for $18.99 per month.

Hulu has a special bundle for students too. You can get Spotify Premium, Hulu Basic, and SHOWTIME for $4.99 per month. This is only available for students, but you can use it for up to 12 months from the date you subscribed if you graduate or leave school.

Bundling can help lower the cost of Hulu. But there's also a way you can watch Hulu for free. Stick to the end to find out how.

How It Compares

How does Hulu compare to top competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video? Find out if Hulu is really worth your hard-earned money below.

Netflix
With plans that start at $8.99 per month, Netflix costs a little more than Hulu. Is it worth the extra cost? With Netflix, you can watch popular shows and movies like The Queen's Gambit and Lady Bird.

If TV shows are your main obsession, Hulu has a great streaming library at a more affordable price. But Netflix is a better option for movies. Netflix doesn't have an option for live TV, so keep that in mind if you're looking for a replacement for your cable TV channels.

Amazon Prime Video
On its own, Amazon Prime Video costs $8.99 per month. You can also pay $12.99 per month or $119 per year for an Amazon Prime subscription, which includes Prime Video. Prime Video actually has one of the largest streaming libraries, though their original content isn't as popular as Hulu or Netflix's.

One big difference between Amazon Prime Video and Hulu is the ability to rent and buy shows and movies. You don't need a subscription to rent or buy content.

Is Hulu free with Amazon Prime?
Hulu and Amazon Prime are separate services, and you'll have to pay for both separately. Unfortunately, there's no way for you to bundle the two together at this time.

Disney+
Disney+ costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. In addition to Disney classics and Pixar movies, you also get access to Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content. For die-hard fans of any of these franchises, Disney+ is a no-brainer.

But if you want a wider range of content, including indie films and reality shows, Hulu might be a better option. Remember, there's also option #3: taking advantage of the Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ bundle for $12.99 per month.

YouTube TV
For $64.99 per month, YouTube TV offers 85+ live TV channels. Channels you won't find on Hulu include NFL, NBA, and MLB networks, PBS, BET, and Comedy Central. YouTube TV includes unlimited cloud DVR recording in their monthly cost. Plus, you can stream on 3 devices at a time instead of 2 with Hulu.

YouTube TV's original shows and movies pale in comparison to Hulu's. But if you just want a cable TV replacement and don't care too much about on-demand content, YouTube TV might be a better option for you.

Sling TV
Sling TV is one of the most affordable live TV options starting at $35 per month. If you're coming from cable and still want to watch your favorite channels, this could be a good option. Sling offers 30+ channels, some of which aren't available with Hulu, including AMC, Comedy Central, and Nick Jr.

You don't get any on-demand content with Sling, but it could be worth it for the live channels that cost less than half the price of Hulu + Live TV.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get Hulu for free?
Take advantage of Hulu's free 30-day trial to get a feel for the service before you commit. You can also try Hulu + Live TV for 7 days. You can cancel your service at any time. Once the trial ends, your account will be charged and your billing cycle will start.

Does Hulu work on my device?
The latest Hulu app works with these supported devices:

  • Android phones and tablets
  • Android TV (select models)
  • Apple TV (4th generation or later)
  • Chromecast
  • Echo Show
  • Fire Tablets
  • Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • iPhones and iPads
  • LG TV (select models)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Mac and PC browsers/apps
  • PlayStation
  • Roku (select models)
  • Samsung TV (select models)
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Xbox
  • Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box*
  • Xfinity X1 TV Boxes*

These older devices also work with the Classic Hulu app, which doesn't give you access to live TV and some add-ons and features:

  • Apple TV (3rd generation)
  • LG TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
  • Sony TVs and Blu-ray players (select models)
  • TiVo
  • VIZIO TVs (select models)

Does Hulu have ads?
Hulu (No Ads) and Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV run on-demand content without ad breaks. However, live TV channels do have commercial breaks. There are a few exceptions. Grey's Anatomy and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have ads between episodes due to differences in streaming rights.

How do you cancel Hulu?
Since there are no contracts or hidden fees, you can cancel Hulu at any time. Just go to your account and click Cancel in the Your Subscriptions section. Once you cancel, you can still watch Hulu until your billing cycle ends.

Does Hulu have local channels?
Hulu + Live TV subscribers get local news and sports networks, like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, in most areas of the country.

Bottom Line

Hulu is a good option for live TV and on-demand content. While they aren't the most affordable option for live TV, the combination of their streaming library with 65+ channels makes it a pretty attractive choice.

If you only want to watch on-demand content and don't mind ads, Hulu Basic is one of the most affordable streaming services. For $5.99 per month, most viewers would be happy with their selection of shows and movies.

Overall, Hulu is worth checking out—especially if you need a replacement for cable TV channels. You'll probably have no problem finding something good that's on.

Write to Donna T at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts. And remember that you can listen to CreditDonkey Radio any time.

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