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Hulu Live TV vs. YouTube TV

Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are two of the most popular live TV streamers out right now. Read on to learn why.

Lara Vukelich

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Hulu Live TV vs YouTube TV Overview

If you want access to the most popular networks, original series, and Disney+ and ESPN+: Hulu + Live TV If you want, a larger channel selection, more sports networks, and more add-on options: YouTube TV
Hulu + Live TV now includes Disney+ and ESPN+, giving you even more titles for $70/mo. Standard plan includes more than 100 channels
More originals than most other live TV streaming services, including award-winning TV shows and popular documentaries Many sports league networks are included in standard service, including NBA TV and NFL Network
Next-day access to many local network TV shows, including those on ABC and Fox PBS local networks included

Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are two of the most popular streaming services available today. Both offer some of the benefits of cable along with many of the perks of on-demand streaming platforms, but each has its own standout features and notable missing pieces.

If you're a die-hard sports fan or want the option to build an extensive lineup of entertainment channels, you might lean toward YouTube TV. On the other hand, if you'd rather complement live TV with a large library of on-demand content, you may favor Hulu + Live TV. Read on to explore our full review and find out which one is right for you.

Compare Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV Plans

Hulu + Live TVYouTube TV
Monthly price $70/mo.$65/mo.
Free trial length N/AUp to 21 days
Number of titles/channels 85+100+
Number of simultaneous streams TwoThree
Cloud DVR storage UnlimitedUnlimited
Offline viewing YesNo
Ad-free option For on-demand titlesNo

Which streaming service is right for you?

Each streaming service has its strong points and disadvantages, depending on what you're looking for. When it comes to YouTube TV vs. Hulu + Live TV, the former excels at offering more cable networks while the latter is known for producing original TV shows and movies and offering a vast on-demand library. In other words, YouTube TV is better for users who care about a cable-like experience while Hulu is ideal for people who want exclusive originals -- especially those who also like Disney and ESPN programming. 

YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV have similar costs -- $65/mo. and $70/mo., respectively. If you want to try before you buy, though, your options will be limited. Currently, only YouTube TV offers a free trial. Hulu does not offer a free trial for its live TV service.

User Experience

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV is accessible via many devices, including up-to-date computer browsers. You can also watch on an Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Amazon Fire tablet, Roku, select LG TVs, Google Chromecast, or Apple TV -- just to name a few. Free mobile apps are available for smartphones using the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for Android devices. 

On-demand titles are typically grouped by genre, and categories will change over time based on user behavior (in other words, it learns what you like to watch). You can pause on-demand movies and TV shows and pick them up later on any device as long as you're logged into the same account. The "Live Guide" displays what is airing on Live TV now and what's coming over the next two weeks. 

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is also compatible with many different devices. Subscribers can login and watch titles with Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Vizio Smartcast, Roku, Xbox, and others. You may also log in to the YouTube app on a smartphone (including iPhones) and watch live programming.

YouTube TV has three main tabs at the top. You can find your DVR titles under "Library," and on-demand TV shows and movies live on the "Home" screen. The "Live" tab has a YouTube TV channel grid. Home opens on "Top Picks for You" where you'll find recommended programs based on your past viewing habits.


Hulu + Live TV

Hulu not only recommends programming based on what you have watched before, but it also allows you to create up to six unique profiles. Each user can then "favorite" channels, sports teams, TV shows, and movies to customize their profile. This helps Hulu provide more accurate recommendations, and it lets users easily find the programming they frequently access. You can also "Like" or "Dislike" an on-demand program on the platform for even greater personalization.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV also lets each account have up to six separate profiles under what it calls a "family group." User watch history and DVR library are not shared with other profiles on the account. Like Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV opens with program recommendations filled with on-demand movies and TV shows. You can also favorite channels, sports teams, and other types of titles, so they are easier to find in the future.


Hulu + Live TV

  • Hulu + Live TV offers add-ons for HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz. These range from $9/mo. to $15/mo. and give you full access to these premium entertainment libraries. There are also entertainment and sports add-ons for $8/mo. and $10/mo., respectively.

  • You can also add an Unlimited Screens extra for $10/mo. This is good for households where more than two users regularly want to stream titles over the same network.

  • For $5/mo., you can buy the Español add-on and access channels such as ESPN Deportes and Discovery Familia.

  • The service automatically includes access to Disney+ and ESPN+, a huge bonus for fans of Disney's entertainment brands and live sports.

YouTube TV

  • The Entertainment Plus extra costs $30/mo. on YouTube TV and includes 28 channels from HBO, Starz, and Showtime. This package is great for movie lovers. 

  • YouTube TV also has a Sports Plus extra for $11/mo. This add-on for sports fans includes NFL RedZone, Fox Soccer Plus, belN Sports, and more. 

  • If you're looking for Spanish-language programming, YouTube TV offers a Spanish Plus add-on that includes an additional 30 channels such as ESPN Deportes, Discovery en Español, and Nat Geo Mundo.

  • Overall, YouTube TV offers a much wider selection of extras than Hulu + Live TV, including everything from NBA League Pass and AMC+ to Acorn TV and Sundance Now.

Hulu + Live TV is good for movies and TV show lovers who want original TV shows and movies, Disney and ESPN programming, and the ability to add extra Hulu + Live TV channels for a small fee.

Overall, YouTube TV might be better for sports fans, though. It has more sports channels included in standard coverage and offers even more coverage via the sports extra and other add-ons. This difference isn't quite as significant now that Hulu + Live TV includes ESPN+, however.


Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV is great for a lot of cord-cutters, but the platform includes fewer channels than many of its competitors, despite its impressive catalog of originals on-demand. Some of the more impressive Hulu bundle options are also unavailable with the Hulu + Live TV package. This includes deals like Spotify with Hulu and Showtime for students, and the Sprint Hulu bundle, for example.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV also has its share of advantages and drawbacks. Compared to Hulu + Live TV, its biggest shortcoming is its lack of an extensive library of on-demand originals. It also doesn't allow you to download titles for offline viewing without the 4K add-on, which means you'll always need an internet connection to watch your favorite TV shows and movies.

Our Final Take

When it comes down to it, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV both have a lot to offer. Cord-cutters who prefer an experience similar to cable, with a vast channel lineup and plenty of live-programming add-ons, may want to go with YouTube TV.

On the other hand, if you like a combination of the live cable experience with a wide range of on-demand titles and original programming -- with the bonus of Disney+ and ESPN+ -- Hulu + Live TV may be a better fit.

If you're still undecided, be sure to check out our comparisons of Hulu + Live TV to other providers like Sling TV and fuboTV, or read our full list of the best live TV streaming services.