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Hulu Review 2022: Is Hulu On-Demand Worth It?

Hulu's on-demand library has some of the most popular TV shows and movies out there. With their own originals to classic favorites, they've earned their rank among the best streaming services.

Hedy Phillips
Mr. Inbetween

Chika Yasumura and Scott Ryan, Mr. Inbetween

James Minchin/FX Networks

Pros Cons
  • Massive on-demand library
  • Offers next-day viewing for some current network TV shows
  • Good bundle value options
  • Ad-free experience costs more
  • Streaming on more than two screens costs more
  • Less original content than competitors

What is Hulu?

Hulu holds rank as one of the most popular on-demand streaming services. With a diverse lineup of original and syndicated shows like The Handmaid's Tale and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as plenty of movies and documentaries for subscribers to enjoy, it's easy to see how the service has maintained its popularity through the years. 

The service also gives you access to episodes of many on-air shows the day after their original air date, meaning that you'll never have to wait months for the new season of your favorite show to make its way to another service. 

Hulu plans are also usually cheaper than plans attached to some of the other popular streaming services out there like Netflix and Disney+, and new and current subscribers are eligible for various promotions throughout the year to keep costs low. Some of these offers include Hulu bundled with Sprint Unlimited (now T-Mobile), or the popular Spotify Premium Student with Hulu and Showtime deal.

As of February 2022, there are over 45.3 million Hulu subscribers, and sources project that this number will continue to grow. Ultimately, Hulu has the potential to take the streaming world by storm. But how much is Hulu? Well, here's everything you need to know about the service, including price, free trial, add-ons, and more.


HuluHBO MaxDisney+Paramount +
Starting monthly price $7/mo.$10/mo.$8/mo.$5/mo.
Free trial length 30 daysN/AN/ASeven days
On-demand content YesYesYesYes
Ad-supported YesYesNoYes
Streaming quality 4K4K4K4K

In Hulu's more than 13 years, the service has managed to keep costs low while maintaining a premium content library. One recent addition is the ability to stream in 4K, provided you have supported hardware, at no extra charge. A library that some say rivals that of Netflix. What's more, the service is the most affordable option of all the services listed, and one of two that still offers a free trial. 

The Hulu free trial is 30 days, unlike many of its competitors. It's also worth mentioning that Hulu has historically offered more promotions than its competitors, and there's always been a handful of ways to ensure that costs for the service remain low at any given time.

For more information see how Hulu +  Live TV service stacks up with other big names like fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

How Much Does Hulu Cost?

The Hulu price varies based on the plan you get. Hulu currently offers two plans. The ad-supported plan will cost you $7/mo. or $70/yr., and the No Ads plan goes for $13/mo. If you choose to go with the yearly ad-supported plan, you'll save about $14 during the year. You should keep in mind that Hulu frequently offers promotions to new and existing subscribers.

For instance, the service launched a promotion that offered the ad-supported monthly plan to all enrolled college students for $2/mo. You can also purchase the Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ ad-supported bundle for $14/mo., or the no-ads bundle for $20/mo. 

Hulu also offers a live TV option that lets you tune into channels you might find included in a typical cable package for an additional cost. Hulu + Live TV comes in two plans; there's the ad-supported Hulu + Live TV plan, which will set you back $70/mo. and the Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV plan, which costs $76/mo.

Both of these plans now include Disney+ and ESPN+ as well. They also include unlimited DVR space. You can purchase additional add-ons like unlimited screens and the Español add-on to further customize your subscription.

Hulu's Content and Add-ons

Wondering what to watch on Hulu? Your options are plentiful. A subscription to Hulu comes complete with a vast library of shows and movies to stream. Some of the best shows on Hulu include fan-favorites Ramy and UnREAL, and some of the best movies on Hulu include pulse-pounding action films like Unstoppable and Godzilla vs. Kong for the thrill seeker in all of us. It's estimated that Hulu's library currently contains about more than 50,000 movies and show episodes, meaning that there's probably something on the service for everyone to enjoy. 

Hulu Originals

You can check out the vast collection of Hulu originals the service offers as well. Hulu has everything from gut wrenching dramas to surreal comedies. Some of which have even been recognized by the Oscars, Emmys, and more. Here are 10 of the best Hulu original shows and movies you can find on the service.

  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • Letterkenny

  • Shrill

  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday

  • Run

  • Palm Springs

  • Madagascar: A Little Wild

  • Castle Rock

  • The Hardy Boys

  • Happiest Season

Hulu Add-ons

A Hulu subscription will give you access to basic functions and capabilities that are standard across most all streaming services. But you can purchase multiple premium add-ons to upgrade your service and stream the way you want. Here are three premium add-ons you should know about.

Starz: Users can purchase this add-on to gain access to content from the Starz channel. With this add-on you'll be able to watch shows like Power and American Gods and get your superhero fix with Venom: Let There Be Carnage. This add-on costs an additional $9/mo.

Cinemax:  This add-on gives you access to Cinemax content and boasts an impressive lineup of Behind the Scenes content for Hulu subscribers to enjoy as well. Ever wonder how your favorite episodes of Banshee or The Knick are made? Well, look no further. This add-on costs an additional $10/mo.

HBO Max: While it's the most expensive add-on listed, it's also the best add-on you can buy with a Hulu subscription. HBO Max starts at $10/mo., and comes with tons of ad-supported content from HBO, Warner Bros. and more.

There's no other add-on out there that you can use to watch all six seasons of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and then turn around to binge almost every DC movie that's been made in the past 20 years. It's easy to get lost in all HBO Max has to offer, just make sure you're taking breaks from time-to-time.

Hulu Features

Cloud DVR

Hulu does offer cloud DVR space, but it's not something you'll have to worry about with the regular Hulu subscriptions -- it's only relevant if you get Hulu + Live TV. With those plans, you're getting unlimited DVR space, which is very appealing.

Simultaneous Streams

Hulu allows you to stream simultaneously on two screens with the regular plan. If you have a small household, or if it's just you, this probably wouldn't be a problem. If you have a subscription that you're sharing among a house of roommates or a family, this could be a drawback. And you can only upgrade to unlimited screens with a Hulu + Live TV subscription.

Sports

You don't really get much in the way of sports on a regular Hulu subscription; you need a Hulu + Live TV subscription for that. While you can get the Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ bundle for ESPN+ content, Hulu itself doesn't have much to offer. You'll only find documentaries, movies, and TV shows about sports or sports stars but no live action.

Offline Downloads

Hulu allows you to download content to watch online, but only if you're a Hulu (No Ads) or Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV subscriber. Because you can't download the ads, the streamer doesn't allow those on the ad-supported plan to download content for offline viewing. You also need to have a mobile device compatible with Hulu to download the content.

Profiles

Hulu is one of the more user-friendly streaming services out there. With any Hulu subscription you can make up to six user profiles and keep track of the things you're watching and watch simultaneously on up to two screens. Each user profile frequently updates itself with new recommendations for Hulu users to watch based on the things they've streamed thus far, making it easy to find your next binge. 

Categories

Hulu's massive library of content is broken into more manageable categories based on genre, network, or some other criteria. If you're looking for a new rom-com to watch while indulging in a tub of ice cream, then all you need to do is search for romance in the Hulu search bar. Sometimes genres will even be featured on your home page when you first log into your account. For example, during Black History Month, Hulu typically features a section made up of essential Black shows and movies for users to stream.

Parental Controls

Additionally, the service lets you set blocks and limits on the type of content your kids or other young users can and can't watch. To do this, you simply need to create a user profile for the member of your family who will have restricted access to the service, designate them as a "Child" when prompted, and you're all set. Hulu will automatically restrict any mature content from the new user, prohibiting them from watching anything with a TV-MA show or R-rated film.

Hulu Supported Devices

You can stream Hulu on most all streaming and gaming devices in your home. Some smart televisions even come with streaming capabilities that are compatible with Hulu as well. Here's a list of compatible devices you can use to watch the service:

  • Android smartphones and tablets

  • Android TV (Google TV)

  • Apple TV

  • Google Chromecast

  • Echo Show

  • Fire Tablets

  • Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

  • Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

  • LG TV

  • Nintendo Switch

  • Mac and PC browsers (Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox)

  • Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 (live TV not available)

  • Roku and Roku Stick

  • Samsung TV

  • Vizio SmartCast TVs

  • Windows 10

  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

You can watch Hulu on some older devices like older Samsung TVs, TiVos, older generations of Apple TVs as well. Just keep in mind that you probably won't be able to access new features, add-ons, or the Hulu + Live TV option if you watch on these devices.

Is Hulu Worth It?

Hulu's maintained its status as one of the biggest names in streaming since its launch in 2008 by sticking to what it knows best, TV. This is the perfect service for television show fanatics and obsessive bingers, alike.

A subscription with Hulu gives you access to a ton of content for you to watch to your heart's content. The ad-supported version of the plan comes with plenty of commercials, so be prepared to sit through a couple of ads. But, if you're looking for a streaming service with plenty of shows and movies to veg out to, then Hulu is the perfect service for you.