We’ve all heard of Hulu by this point. It’s the streaming service that was one of the absolute first out of the gate in the so-called “streaming wars.” As more and more streaming offerings have entered the market, though, you might still wonder “Is Hulu worth it?”
In this Hulu Review, I will break down what to expect from the steamer in 2023 including the cost of Hulu, Hulu with Ads vs. Hulu Without Ads, the top streaming shows on Hulu, and the Hulu app. By the end, you should know if a Hulu subscription is right for you!
Take note, that this review focuses on Hulu standalone subscriptions. For Hulu+ Live TV check out the dedicated review here.
This article was last updated on December 23rd, 2022.
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The Basics of Hulu, Is Hulu Worth It?
Hulu started out as a website to stream ad-supported TV episodes and movies way back in 2007. A lot has happened between their beginnings and today, but one thing has remained the same: it’s a hub for great content from a variety of television networks and movie studios in one place.
Even though Disney now owns a majority stake in Hulu, you'll get more than just Disney-owned content. You’ll find TV shows from Fox, ABC, and NBC together in one place. You can stream Tim Burton’s Batman movies and both Deadpools in one easy binge. Plus throw in an HBO Max upgrade to watch all their content in the Hulu app, too, if you’d like.
The memberships are pretty customizable overall as well. Do you want ads or no ads? Live TV or no Live TV? A bundle with other streaming services or Hulu by itself?
With Hulu you get great original shows and a wide selection of content from various providers in one simple, adaptable package.
What's on Hulu?
Hulu’s content has some of the widest variety of any streaming service out there. Some of the television networks with content on Hulu are ABC, AMC, Bravo, Discovery, Comedy Central, Food Network, Fox, FX, NBC, Showtime, TBS, TNT, and VH1, to name a few.
You’ll find both previous season shows and current season shows, making it so you don’t have to wait months or even years to watch the latest episodes of your favorite series. On top of this there is a robust collection of Hulu Originals featuring both critically acclaimed shows and fan favorites alike.
Under the “Hubs” tab, you’ll find some of the content providers with the largest selections on Hulu including 20th Century Studios, Hotstar, Searchlight Pictures, and FX.
These shows range anywhere from gritty dramas (The Handmaid’s Tale, Dopesick, The Dropout, Pam & Tommy) to quirky comedies (Only Murders in the Building, The Great, How I Met Your Father, Pen15). There’s some kids content, including several shows made for Hulu by Dreamworks Animation and a reboot of the satirical cartoon series Animaniacs.
Hulu Original Movies have focused heavily on the horror genre with “Into the Dark” series plus movies like Run, Bad Hair, Fresh, and No Exit. 20th Century Studios also releases at least 10 films a year on Hulu.
While most live content is reserved for a Hulu+ Live TV subscription plan, every Hulu subscription includes access to ABC News Live, their 24/7 digital news channel. Through this you can watch broadcasts like ABC News Live with Linsey Davis, 20/20, The View, and World News Tonight with David Muir.
You can also view clips of headline stories and catch up on previous programs under the “News” tab in the Hulu app.
Hulu makes it easy to consolidate some of your streaming subscriptions by offering premium networks like HBO Max, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz in addition to Disney+ (w/Ads) and ESPN+ as add-ons.
Hulu+ Live TV
A Live TV subscription will give you access to 85+ live channels in addition to your regular Hulu subscription, all within the same Hulu app. You can record shows with an unlimited Cloud DVR and also get access to Disney+ and ESPN+!
For more on Hulu+ Live TV, check out my review here.
Hulu Plans & Pricing
Standalone Hulu Membership
A standard Hulu subscription has two options. There is no commitment and you can cancel at any time. Both include a 30 day free trial for new members:
- Hulu (w/ Ads): $7.99/mo. or $79.99/yr. Gives you access to the full Hulu content library with ad-supported content
- Hulu (No Ads)- $14.99/mo. Gives you access to the same, full content library with ad breaks removed on the vast majority of content. (There are a small number of shows that have ads before and after the video).
Additionally, Hulu offers a discounted plan to students.
- Hulu (w/ Ads) for $1.99/mo. This is the same Hulu (w Ads) plan offered to non-students but with a 75% discount added.
Hulu + Live TV
There are two different options for a Live TV plan. Both include Disney+ and ESPN+.
- Hulu (w/ Ads) + Live TV w/ Disney+ (w/ Ads) & ESPN+ (w/ Ads) for $69.99/mo. Gives full access to Hulu’s ad-supported plan, 85+ live channels, and unlimited cloud storage. Includes Disney+ and ESPN+, everything is ad-supported.
- Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV w/ Disney+ (No Ads) & ESPN+ (w/ Ads) for $82.99/mo. Full access to Hulu with ad breaks removed on vast majority of on-demand content (live TV still has ads). 85+ live channels, unlimited DVR storage, 2 screens, ad-free Disney+, & ESPN+.
These can be added to any Hulu subscription.
- ESPN+: $9.99/mo.
- Disney+ (w/ Ads): $2.00/mo.
- HBO Max: One week free, then $14.99/mo.
- Cinemax: One week free, then $9.99/mo.
- Showtime: One week free, then $10.99/mo.
- STARZ: $8.99/mo.
These can be added to a Hulu+Live subscription:
- Unlimited Screens: $9.99/mo.
- Español Add-on: $4.99/mo.
- Entertainment Add-on: $7.99/mo.
- Sports Add-on: $9.99/mo.
Hulu App Review
Hulu is available on a wide range of devices. You can download the app to mobile devices with either Android or iOS; watch it on your web browser with a Mac or PC; watch it on streaming devices like Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and the Xfinity Flex Streaming box; game consoles from Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo; and smart TVs by LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.
For purposes of this review, I used the Hulu app on an Amazon Firestick, an Apple TV, my iPhone, and laptop. Performance of the app went smoothly on all devices.
A standard Hulu account can stream on up to two devices at a time, although subscribers to Hulu+ Live TV have the option of upgrading with the “Unlimited Screens” add-on. One Hulu account can create up to six profiles and you gain access to select 4K content (using a compatible device) at no extra cost.
Final Thoughts- Is Hulu Worth It?
Hulu remains a must-have for television junkies. Streaming services are becoming increasingly fragmented in their offerings as more rival companies enter the marketplace. The line-up of content that you can get under one roof at Hulu, including current season shows, is something you won’t find anywhere else.
It is the best place to find content from a range of entertainment companies alongside each other. Plus the 30 day trial for standalone Hulu memberships and student discount are very generous.
As for the library of Hulu Originals, it keeps getting better over time. Particularly if you like buzz-worthy drama shows like The Dropout, Dopesick, or the lineup of FX content, you’ll find plenty to stream on Hulu.
In short, Hulu is still worth a subscription in 2023.
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I was an early adopter of Hulu but I lately I try to watch things only to be disappointed that I would need Showtime or another service to watch things I’m interested in. My subscription is hanging by a thread.