Hulu Review 2021: Everything you need to know about the streaming service

hulu logo

What is Hulu?

And although Netflix still dwarfs the service in terms of users — Hulu has 31.8 million subscribers in the US, compared to Netflix’s 61 million — Hulu is a firm competitor in the market. It surpasses Disney +’s 23.2 million subscribers and is on its way to beating Apple TV +’s 33.6 million figure.

Hulu not only lets you watch hundreds of shows and movies on demand, it also features a live TV option, giving you sports, news, and your favorite series in real-time. 

In this review, we’ll be focusing on Hulu’s two on-demand plans, both of which provide tons of content and even let you watch plenty of shows the day after they first air on network TV. 

Hulu plans and pricing

How much is Hulu? Well, the service currently has four subscription plans. The two cheapest revolve around on-demand viewing, while the other two give access to Hulu’s live TV option. 

Here’s a quick rundown of Hulu’s on-demand packages:

 HuluHulu No Ads
Monthly price$5.99$11.99
Free trial length7 days7 days
Number of titles3,000+3,000+
Offline downloads NoYes
Streaming quality720p, 1080p, 4K Ultra HD720p, 1080p, 4K Ultra HD

Check out more with our full breakdown of Hulu packages and pricing.

*Note that subscribers on the No Ads plan may still see ads during a select few shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, and How to Get Away with Murder.\

Compared to its competitors, specifically Sling, Netflix, Philo and fuboTV, Hulu’s on-demand subscriptions are among the most affordable. The basic Hulu subscription costs $5.99, and its annual subscription is $59.99, which saves subscribers almost 20%. 

Hulu’s competitors charge a lot more for their basic monthly subscriptions:

  • Netflix: $8.99/month
  • Sling: $30/month
  • Philo: $20/month
  • fuboTV: $64.99/month 

If someone were to opt for Hulu’s No Ads subscription, they would be paying just a few more dollars than Netflix’s lowest, but it would still cost less than Sling’s lowest subscription. 

Hulu Interface

No matter where Hulu is accessed from, it allows subscribers to quickly and easily search for titles. Since the content is organized into categories based on different criteria such as genre or network, subscribers can navigate to specific lists and find the show or movie they wish to watch. 

With a few quick scrolls, subscribers can also select titles to continue watching, start a show or movie they’ve added to their watchlist, or review suggestions made by Hulu based on their recently watched titles. If necessary, different profiles can be created for individual users, which is helpful if everyone is viewing different content. 

Hulu supported devices

Hulu can be accessed using a wide range of devices, from Android and iOS phones and tablets to smart TVs and gaming consoles. Here’s a list of devices that are compatible with the service:

  • 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
  • PlayStation 3 (live TV not available)
  • PlayStation 4 (live TV not available)
  • Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
  • Samsung TV (select models)
  • VIZIO SmartCast TVs
  • Windows 10
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One

Some devices only support the classic Hulu app. With these products you can still access on-demand titles, but you won’t be able to enjoy new features, certain add-ons, or live TV:

  • Apple TV (2nd and 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)

Learn more about Hulu supported devices and how it stacks up to competitors here.

What to watch on Hulu

To help you find what you’re looking for, Hulu splits its content into several categories. The main ones are:

  • TV shows
  • Movies
  • Originals
  • Kids
  • Premium channels

You can narrow things down even further by browsing by genre. Dozens of options are available, including the usual Comedy and Sci-Fi to more niche titles like Cooking & Food. 

Whether you’re a huge fan of classic series or a person who likes to stay on top of recent releases, you’ll find plenty to watch on Hulu.

Hulu Original Content

Hulu advertises that its streaming library features thousands of shows and movies. Over the past years, Hulu has added its own original movies and shows to this library. Hit shows such as Little Fires Everywhere and Castle Rock are both Hulu originals. 

Hulu On Demand Movies

As mentioned, Hulu’s streaming library also features movies. Subscribers can find films from several genres, including action, drama, and thrillers. Also available are staff picks and Blockbuster hits such as I, Tonya, What Men Want, and Creed II

Hulu On Demand Shows

Hulu’s original shows are not the only ones available to subscribers. Shows airing on various networks like ABC, NBC, and FOX can be viewed on-demand. This means that subscribers can enjoy The Bachelorette, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, or The Masked Singer whenever they want. 

Hulu Add Ons

For subscribers who want more content and functionality, there are add-ons available for an additional monthly fee depending on which add-on is selected:

  • Network (Espanol): For $4.99/month, subscribers get access to shows and movies in Spanish.
  • Network (Entertainment): For $7.99/month, subscribers get access to additional lifestyle content.  
  • Premium Networks: Subscribers get access to premium networks, including Showtime ($10.99), HBO Max ($14.99), Cinemax ($9.99), and Starz ($8.99). 
  • Enhanced Cloud DVR: For $9.99/month, subscribers get 200 hours of Cloud DVR storage and the ability to fast forward through ads when watching recorded shows.
  • Unlimited Screens: For $9.99/month, subscribers can access and stream Hulu content on any number of compatible devices.

Sports on Hulu

Subscribers with Hulu’s on-demand subscriptions are unable to view live sports, so anyone who is a sports fan will want to consider Hulu Live. Some of the sports available for live viewing and recording on Hulu are baseball, football, wrestling and racing. 

This specific subscription features a line-up of 65 channels, which includes ESPN, ESPN 2, and FS1. Additional local and regional networks airing live sports may be available based on your location. As of October 2020, Hulu is unable to offer Fox Regional Sports Networks due it no longer having distribution rights. 

Hulu features

While Hulu’s live TV plans offer the most impressive features, on-demand subscribers can still make use of several helpful functionalities, such as simultaneous streaming. 

Hulu live set up 2

Downloadable Content on Hulu

Subscribers to Hulu’s No Ads package can download TV shows and movies to watch offline. This is only available on certain mobile devices, but users can download up to 25 videos. The service automatically deletes recordings after 30 days. (DVR storage is only available for Hulu + Live TV subscribers.)


No matter which on-demand plan you choose, you and your family will be able to watch content on two devices at once. Those with a Hulu + Live TV plan can pay to enhance this feature.

Parental Controls

One subscription plan also comes with the ability to create six separate profiles, so each family member can view personalized recommendations and carry on where they left off. Parents can also restrict a profile to Hulu’s Kids Hub to give children a safe viewing experience.

The final cut

An extensive catalog of on-demand shows and movies, plus a budget-friendly price, make Hulu a big contender in the streaming world. It’s also why we’ve ranked Hulu one of the best video streaming services of 2021. So whether you want to start a popular show from the very beginning or catch up on the latest episode of one of your favorite programs, it’s worth giving the service a whirl. Hulu gives you 7 days to try things out for free. 

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