Hulu vs. Hulu Plus Live TV: Which is Better?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase or sign up through my links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclaimer for more info.

This Hulu Plus vs. Hulu comparison explains what you get with a Hulu Plus subscription compared to using Hulu Basic.

Hulu is a viable alternative to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the two most popular streaming services. However, when considering Hulu vs. Hulu Plus, which should you choose?

What’s the difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus, and which one is right for you?

The main difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus is: Hulu basic offers many attractive viewing choices for cable cutters on its own, but Hulu Plus goes the extra mile for viewers who like to keep up with the latest episodes of their favorite TV shows.

I’ll go through the benefits and drawbacks of both Hulu’s premium and ad-supported packages, as well as some questions, to ask yourself to figure out which one is best for your TV viewing requirements.

What is Hulu?

These days, people watch TV on their laptops or computer and most Millennials have totally cut the cord.

Unlike traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions, with Hulu there are:

  • No appointments, home installation, or special equipment necessary: All you need is a subscription, home network, and a supported device to start streaming your favorite TV shows and movies on Hulu.
  • No hidden costs or fees (sales tax required in some areas): They keep it simple with straight-forward pricing. Plans start as low as $5.99 for Hulu and $54.99 for Hulu + Live TV.
  • No commitments or cancellation hassle: Change your mind? No problem. Switch plans, add or remove add-ons, and even cancel altogether at any time via your account page.

Hulu has progressed into becoming one of the biggest online streaming websites for those who want cable alternatives, much like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, Pureflix, and more.

Hulu was actually free to use to watch your favorite TV shows as well as new series until they decided to switch to a paid membership instead, with four package types —

  • Hulu
  • Hulu (No Ads)
  • Hulu + Live TV
  • Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV

Let’s go over these options.

Hulu vs Hulu Plus Live TV

This Hulu Plus Live TV vs. Hulu comparison explains what you get with a Hulu Plus Live TV subscription compared to using Hulu.

What Makes the Two Packages So Different?

Hulu essentially has types of memberships, Hulu (standard) or Hulu Plus Live TV.

Both of these have their differences and although one might seem better than the other.

If you are on a budget, the standard package is more affordable and enjoyable in the long run, even if they’re a few disadvantages which we will go over in this article.

Click here for Live TV & Streaming in one place with Hulu.

Hulu Standard Review

The standard Hulu package allows you to have a one-month free trial and you are able to take advantage of the features that are available to you under the Hulu Basic plan.

Once the free trial is over, there is a monthly cost of $5.99. The features are standard within this package type in having unlimited access to the streaming library that has limited advertisements and sometimes none.

On top of this, you will be able to watch a full series of new and old TV shows, top movies, original series, and documentaries.

You can pay $6 a month for Hulu’s whole on-demand library, but you’ll have to sit through some commercials while you watch.

Hulu’s content library covers a wide range of genres, including current network series and old favorites. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Law & Order: SVU,” dramatic series, are just a few of the shows available. Hulu Originals like as well as entire seasons of sitcoms such as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “American Dad”.

Hulu can be used to catch select network programs as they air — or the day after. This is an important difference compared with Netflix.

Hulu, like other streaming services, offers a wide range of entertaining content. The site also has documentaries, reality shows, boxing matches and news updates. Hulu regularly adds popular movies to its collection, including “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” “Space Jam” (1996), and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

You can also cancel your package at any given time or upgrade to the plus live TV package.

Hulu Plus Live TV Review

hulu plus vs hulu

Hulu Plus has a 7-day free trial, and if you wish to continue you will be billed for a monthly membership that is $54.99 or $60.99 without ads.

This is a much higher cost than the basic package but there is much more on offer with this package.

To chalk it up, you can bundle up your Hulu subscription with other premium streaming services and partners, like Disney+ESPN+Spotify, and Sprint.

If you sign up for Hulu Plus Live TV you are able to watch live TV on your main device as well as a range of other devices, for easy viewing that is accommodating.

Unlimited access to streaming the library is available with limited commercials and original series are available as well as the basics included.

You can also stream on-demand channels like news and sports.

Is Hulu Plus Live TV Worth It?

Although the Hulu Plus Live TV package has limited commercials, the same is said with the basic package, therefore the fact you are paying more for the plus but receiving the same amount of commercials or even more is a bit unfair considering the price.

However, Hulu is known for regular commercials with all streams and is deemed part of both memberships.

Hulu Plus Live TV allows you to view a plethora of channels compared to the standard package and does work out to be more valuable if said channels are what members are looking for and watch constantly.

Hulu Plus Live provides more but also is quite similar to the basic package which is a lot cheaper.

If potential members are wanting a broad range of channels, then Hulu Plus Live TV is definitely the one to go for.

Click here for Live TV & Streaming in one place with Hulu.

Difference Between Hulu Basic and Hulu Plus

Hulu offers a free 30-day trial, with no contract required. Hulu Basic is $5.99 per month, while Hulu Premium costs $11.99 per month. Both give you access to the full Hulu on-demand library, but Basic has commercials whereas Premium is ad-free.

In exchange for a cheaper monthly fee, Hulu Basic provides you unskippable advertising before and during your stream. Hulu typically includes five minutes of advertisements for every 30-minute program and ten minutes of advertisements for every hourlong program. It’s a minor cost to pay for half the price of your subscription, yet it still offers less total ad exposure

Hulu offers Disney Plus and ESPN+ as a bundle for $11.99 per month, making it the cheapest streaming option by far. This is also about $7 cheaper than purchasing each service separately. You may sign up for Hulu Basic as part of a package with Disney Plus and ESPN+. The price of this deal is $14 per month.

Hulu Plus vs Netflix

Should you cancel Netflix and switch to Hulu? Well, that all depends.

Hulu and Netflix are both popular however Netflix has gained its popularity with its original series and a myriad of different TV shows, documentaries, and movies.

Netflix is not so quick, however, to release shows, whereas Hulu if faster. Hulu is more proactive with talk shows and also news channels. Hulu also spreads further to offer anime which Netflix does not have.

Netflix has complete series that are all available to watch, whereas Hulu has instances where there are limits to how many episodes you can watch, furthermore the episodes are not always in the correct order.

Netflix has new and old TV shows and movies which offers a range of entertainments for different audiences. Some streams Netflix has, Hulu does not. The quality of stream differs with Netflix produces HD quality on all devices. Hulu has many advertisements that are not budging whereas Netflix does not have as many or even some cases none.

Ready to Lower Your Bills?

Our #1 Pick
  • Free version
  • 7-day trial
  • Free version

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

On a similar note...

Explore More On

My Millennial Guide