What is Hulu and Hulu Plus?

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Updated July 28, 2020

What is Hulu Plus?

Are you curious about the best shows on Hulu right now?

Hulu Plus is a video streaming service: using an Internet connection, it can stream TV shows and movies directly to your device, without the need to purchase them permanently. It is of the major streaming services that compete with similar services like Netflix and Amazon Video (be sure to check out our Netflix vs Amazon Prime vs Hulu). While you’re at it, you might also be interested in our Hulu Plus vs Vudu review.

Jump To: Compare all 3 versions of Hulu side-by-side.

Notably, Hulu Plus works with wireless Internet connections, which allows you to stream on-demand shows and movies to your mobile devices, an ideal option for long-distance entertainment. Don’t forget to check out our Hulu Plus vs Amazon Prime review to decide which streaming service you like best.

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Hulu Vs Hulu Plus

Hulu Hulu PlusHulu Plus No Commecials
PriceFree$7.99/month$11.99/month
Commercial Freered-x-iconred-x-icongreen-check-mark
Access To 5+ of the Latest Episodesred-x-icongreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
Access to Past Seasonsred-x-icongreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
Computer Accessgreen-check-markgreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
iOS, Android, Windows, Consoles, & Smart TV Compatibilityred-x-icongreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
TV Showsgreen-check-markgreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
Moviesgreen-check-markgreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
Showtime Add Onred-x-icongreen-check-mark *green-check-mark *
*$8.99

How Much is Hulu Plus?

HuluPlusMovies

Update: Hulu Plus no longer offers a free 7-day trial from. We know. We’re just as frustrated and upset about this as you are. It would still mean a lot to us if you subscribed through our links so we can pay our writers. But alas, we know the reality of the matter :(. Thanks for reading.

Hulu Plus costs $7.99 per month to use. You can try a free week trial before you start paying, but you will have to deactivate your Plus account to avoid making payments.  However, you can now pay $11.99 a month for a 100% COMMERCIAL FREE version of Hulu Plus. Yes, at $7.99 you’ll still need to incur commercials, but you will gain access to a show’s past seasons and all their episodes.

For reference, Netflix currently starts at $7.99, though if you want HD you’ll need to pay $9.99 with access to two screens at the same time.  For more info about Netflix pricing please see: how much is Netflix.

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How Can I Access Hulu Plus?

hululogo

Hulu Plus does not have its own special device – it works as an app that you can download via another device. Assuming you have an Internet connection that can support video streaming, you have a plethora of options when it comes to hardware.

Modern game consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One support Hulu Plus. You can download it on popular set-top boxes like Roku’s streaming player, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and even Amazon Fire TV. Windows 8 (and no doubt Windows 10) devices support Hulu Plus. Any newer iPhone or newer iPad will also support the app. Android software beyond 4.X is compatible, too. And, of course, you can watch right from your computer.

If you are worried about a particular device, you can check out the full list of compatible devices.

What’s the Difference Between Normal “Hulu” and Hulu Plus?

hulu-plus-tv

Hulu is a free streaming service that acts much like a teaser of Hulu Plus. You do not have to pay anything, but what you can watch is severely limited by the company. This makes it very difficult to binge-watch an entire show (all past seasons and episodes), but it still allows you to keep up with shows if you have recently missed an episode or two.

Keep in mind that the Hulu roster is always shifting based not only on new episodes that have aired, but also on the current contracts that Hulu has with content providers. Therefore, it is very difficult to make sweeping statements about what is available through Hulu versus through the full Hulu Plus service. The easiest method is to visit the list of Hulu shows and movies, and look up a specific title. Click on the title, and it will show you both how many episodes are available through Hulu, and how many you get through Hulu Plus.

You will quickly notice that Hulu offers only a few episodes of each show, while Hulu Plus offers the full season and all past episodes, where as Hulu will not. If you do not care about a full season and only want to find the latest episodes that have aired – or the first few episodes of a show – you should start with Hulu and then decide if you want to upgrade to Hulu Plus.

Do not assume that you can watch Hulu on every device that supports Hulu Plus. Sometimes only Hulu Plus is supported on a a wide variety of devices, including Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows and more – Hulu is often limited to web-based streaming only.

Which is Better, Hulu Plus or Netflix?

There are many excellent articles that dive into this common question. However, here are a few essentials that will show you the key differences.

Read: Hulu Plus vs Netflix

First, there are the ads. Hulu uses ads of one kind of another, no matter which version of the service that you choose (unless you pay $11.99 for no commercial Hulu Plus). They may only last a few seconds, or be a simple survey you can click away from, but they exist. Netflix has no ads of any kind.

Then there is show (and movie) selection. This depends on which shows the two services have contracts for, and how recently those contracts have been updated. You can look this up, but know that the lists you find will probably not be current, thanks to the ever-changing rosters of the two. But we can make generalizations.

Generally, Netflix has a larger and deeper roster – there are more shows available across different genres (especially stuff for kids), and far more shows and movies available from different decades and past seasons. Netflix movies tend to be more current.

Hulu Plus, on the other hand, does better at offering the current episodes of a broader number of shows currently airing, more ideal for people without cable or those who need to catch up.  After all, they’ve got support and deal with the major Networks, including Fox and those alike.

Keep in mind that some contracts are exclusive, too. Netflix, for example, has AMC (Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc.) and Hulu Plus doesn’t. Check your favorite shows for both options.

There’s also the matter of original shows. Netflix original shows tend to get a lot of the headlines, such as House of Cards, Making a Murder, Love and Orange is the New Black. But Hulu has its own original series, like Misfits and The Awesomes. These are, of course, only available on the services that created them.

Hulu Plus Shows

Ok, so you’re just about ready to get Hulu Plus, but you’re probably wondering what shows are available.  Here is a small sampling:

  • Family Guy (12 seasons)
  • Top Gear (20 seasons)
  • Revenge (1 season)
  • South Park (18 seasons)
  • Law and Order SUV (16 seasons)
  • SNL (16 seasons)
  • Workaholics (4 seasons)
  • Modern Family (1 season)
  • Key and Peele (4 seasons)
  • Tosh O (3 seasons)
  • Top Chef (12 seasons)
  • Shark Tank (1 season)
  • Scrubs (9 seasons)
  • Hells Kitchen (13 seasons)
  • American Horror Story (3 seasons)

And many, many more.  In fact there are over 9000 shows available on Hulu Plus.  So there is more than enough content to go around.

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