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Hulu plans and prices: best deals, bundles, cost increases, and how to sign up

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Live TV, on-demand movies and TV shows, top-notch sports programming and brand-new original content: that’s just a fraction of the excellent entertainment you can enjoy with a Hulu subscription. And, as we explain below, there are Hulu plans and prices to suit every budget - even with the impending price hike.

Hulu offers viewers a library of thousands of movies and TV shows, including acclaimed FX content, Hulu Originals, and exclusive new releases fresh from theaters. 

In addition to on-demand content (including Hulu Originals like Vacation Friends, Run, and new series How I Met Your Father), its Hulu + Live TV plan gets you a roster of over 75 live channels that deliver 24/7 programming.

But do the Hulu plans and prices offer the best deals available? Or would you be better served by another of the best TV streaming services like HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon or Apple TV Plus? We put the most popular VOD services through their paces below. 

Hulu prices and plans: your quick guide

The Hulu (With Ads) price is $6.99 a month (opens in new tab) for on-demand only access. One of the lowest entry-points around for such a deep library of content, you'll be able to stream on up to two simultaneous devices, and create up to six separate user profiles.

Want to get straight to the action without interruption? Hulu (No Ads) is available for $12.99 a month (opens in new tab).

Come October 10, however, both plans will see a Hulu price hike. Its ad-supported plan will go up by $1 to $7.99 a month, while those who desire an ad-free experience will have to pay $2 more at $14.99 a month. 

If you want Live TV too, you can enjoy over 75 live television cable channels by signing up to the Hulu with Live TV package. This plan has recently risen by $5 to $69.99 a month (opens in new tab), though, and the 7-day free trial is no longer available to new subscribers. But, on top of some brilliant networks - among them NBC, A&E, The CW, Animal Planet, VH1, and TCM - you now get Disney Plus and ESPN Plus thrown in too. And unlike cable, there's no contract and you can cancel anytime.

Alternatively, if you want the added bonus of Disney Plus and ESPN Plus, but want the standard Hulu plan, you can always opt for the Disney Plus bundle.

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The best Disney Plus deal in the US is to watch Obi-Wan Kenobi with the Disney Bundle (opens in new tab). The Disney Bundle gives you three streaming services at a discount rate. It's Disney Plus, ESPN+ and Hulu all for $13.99 per month.

A subscription to Disney Plus on its own is $7.99 per month. Try adding all the movies, TV shows, live sports and Hulu Originals for a few dollars more. There are no long contracts. You can cancel at any time.

As listed below, additional services can be included for an extra monthly fee:

  • Hulu (no ads) - $6*
  • Hulu + Live TV (no ads) - $6*
  • Unlimited Screens - $9.99
  • Enhanced Cloud DVR - $9.99
  • Unlimited Screens + Enhanced DVR - $14.98
  • Entertainment Add-on - $7.99
  • Español Add-on - $4.99
  • Sports Add-on - $9.99
  • HBO Max - $14.99
  • Cinemax - $9.99
  • Showtime - $10.99
  • Starz - $8.99

* Adverts will remain on live TV broadcasts, while a handful of shows like How to Get Away with Murder are bookmarked by adverts, due to rights issues.

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How do Hulu prices compare to Netflix?

Hulu’s low cost for on-demand content was always going to be hard to beat. Netflix’s cheapest plan is now $9.99 and provides streaming to one device only – you’d need the $15.99 Standard plan to get the equivalent two streams (in HD quality) that's available for the $6.99 Hulu price. Pay $19.99 for Netflix Premium, though and get a total of four streams, and even sharper Ultra HD quality content. 

If you’ve got a large household with divergent viewing tastes, and want to combine your on-demand and cable requirements at a very respectable fee, then it’s worth trying out Hulu + Live TV. It’s $69.99 a month, includes heaps of kid-friendly content under Disney Plus, live sports and shows via ESPN Plus, and you can add Unlimited Screens for only $9.99. That should keep your media-loving brood at home happy.

Yes, Hulu does fall short on quantity of content in comparison to Netflix: the streaming giant has just under 4,000 films to Hulu’s approximately 2,500. However, when it comes to live broadcasting, Netflix doesn’t even attempt to compete with Hulu's healthy roster of Live TV channels, which now also features the NFL Network.

Need more help to choose? Then take a look at our dedicated Hulu vs Netflix guide.

How do Hulu prices compare to Amazon Prime Video?

An Amazon Prime (opens in new tab) account will set you back $12.99 monthly, or $9.92 if you pay an annual fee.

You can set up separate accounts for other members of your household, and can stream to a maximum of three devices, but there's no option to increase this, unlike with Hulu’s Unlimited Screens add-on.

There’s even more incentive to join Amazon Prime if you’re a student. With an annual subscription, they get access to Amazon Prime Video and its cache of over 13,000 movies and TV series, unlimited music and more, which works out at $4.92 per month – and that’s after getting a mega 6 months free! However, Hulu are trying to woo the student population too, and those over 18 in full time education can get ad-supported Hulu for the ridiculously low price of $1.99 a month.

As for live TV offerings? Amazon Channels provide an a la carte selection that can be individually added to your account. Channels include Epix, Showtime and Starz, and cost anywhere between $0.99 per month (The List) and $28.99 (NBA League Pass), with the average being around $7. If you’re looking to replicate the sheer breadth of cable and not break the bank, however, Hulu with Live TV might be your best bet.

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How do Hulu prices compare to Disney Plus?

The Disney-owned Hulu now offers Disney Plus with its Hulu + Live TV plan. But if you had to choose? Well,  Disney Plus brings a comprehensive library of Walt Disney content old and new, alongside feature length films and short form films from animation powerhouse Pixar. You'll find almost every Marvel movie here too, alongside brand-new Originals like Hawkeye and WandaVision, in addition to the entire Star Wars saga, National Geographic documentaries and every season of The Simpsons. 

Hulu has a broader scope and more adult content, while Disney Plus is aimed squarely at families, with no content exceeding a PG-13 rating - unless you’re an international subscriber, in which case the Star on Disney Plus hub provides access to TV MA and R Rated titles. It’s a touch more expensive than Hulu’s basic plan, so if you’re not a fan of Marvel, Star Wars, or animated features, US viewers might find its appeal limited.

The Disney Plus bundle, however, offers a tantalizing package with Hulu and ESPN Plus. This Hulu bundle is $13.99 a month (opens in new tab) for the plan that includes ad-supported Hulu ($19.99 a month without ads). Opt for Hulu + Live TV, though, and you can throw in the lot under for $75.99. Whichever option you choose, you’ll make huge savings this way, rather than if you decided to sign up for each platform individually.

How do Hulu deals compare to HBO Max?

WarnerMedia's streaming service HBO Max, lets subscribers access quality films and TV shows from the revered HBO (contemporary classics like Euphoria and Game of Thrones in addition to the iconic Sex and the City and Six Feet Under) plus content from studios, including Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, and New Line Cinema. Being a Warner company they can tap into the Warner Brothers archive too, which means access to the DC Universe, and exclusive streaming rights to all seasons of The Big Bang Theory and Friends.

With an impressive library of over 3,000 film and TV titles, it’s a case of quality and quantity here, which justifies the comparatively high monthly price tag. It’s $9.99 for the ‘With Ads’ plan, and $14.99 for the Ad-Free option, the latter of which provides, the ability to download content to watch offline, and 4K HDR streaming on select titles. Both include the functionality to stream to three devices simultaneously and create 5 personalized user profiles. 

For any self-respecting film and TV buff, HBO Max is a tantalising proposal. However, it won't suit those looking to replicate the immediacy of Live TV’s cable-hopping experience, which is where Hulu + Live TV, with its 75 plus channels, excels.

Looking for the best of both worlds? You can purchase HBO Max directly through Hulu as a Premium add-on, but only the top-tier $14.99 plan is available to purchase currently.

How do Hulu subscriptions compare to Apple TV Plus?

A monthly subscription to Apple TV Plus (opens in new tab) is even more affordable than a basic Hulu plan, coming in at $4.99 a month or $49.99 for an annual membership. For that competition-beating price, you can share your account with five other people and get ad-free access to excellent original series like The Morning Show, the Golden Globe-wining Ted Lasso, as well as newer releases including WeCrashed. Plus, all of it's available to stream in stunning 4K resolution. 

By comparison, Hulu plans are capped at two streams maximum (unless you decide to purchase Unlimited Screens for $9.99 per month). The best quality stream is HD for most titles, although a handful, including most Hulu Originals, can be streamed in 4K Ultra HD. And the only way to escape the adverts, is by paying an extra monthly $6 on top of your basic Hulu or Live TV plan.

A huge Pro for Hulu is that it has around 4000 on-demand titles. Apple TV Plus, largely hosting brand-new original features and debuting in late 2019, has a modest 90-odd. While these are bold and exciting shows, often of A-list pedigree, if you’re looking to binge a deep library of films and TV series, you’ll want a Hulu subscription.

FuboTV on mobile

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How do Hulu prices compare to FuboTV?

At $64.99, FuboTV’s entry-level Starter plan is a little cheaper than Hulu, and delivers significantly more channels: over 110, about 30 - more than Hulu + Live TV. A third of its line-up is sports too, including networks like ESPN, FH1, and NFL, so it’s perfect if keeping up with the latest match is a must.

 A Hulu +Live TV subscription now includes ESPN Plus, though, which brings lots of live matches and sports coverage to the table, and it’s pretty unbeatable for overall entertainment. It's home to award-winning Hulu Originals like Nomadland and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and binge-worthy comedy-dramas like Only Murders in the Building, Reservation Dogs, and PEN15, to name just a few. Plus, Hulu includes a variety of TV networks that aren't currently available through Fubo, like A&E, Cartoon Network, Vice TV and CNN.  

If you’re interested in a comprehensive replacement to cable that's sports focused and provides coverage of all the major sporting tournaments, you'll probably want to grab a FuboTV plan – and there’s plenty of extra scope if your wallet can take the strain. But if you want the the catchall of live TV with a hefty VOD library and buzz-worthy Original shows, then hello…it’s Hulu + Live TV you’re looking for.

How do Hulu plans compare to Sling TV?

Want an online cable replacement but need to keep costs down? Where Hulu has a single Live TV plan fixed at $69.99 and only a handful of additional channels, Sling TV has three base plans on which you can build a bespoke line-up, meaning that a Sling TV plan is flexible and affordable.

Sling Orange has about 32 channels, including ESPN, the Disney Channel, CNN and A&E, while Sling Blue provides a more expansive offering leaning towards news and entertainment. Both cost $35 a month, but for $50 you can get Sling Orange + Blue, which enables four streams in total and delivers 50 channels. Then you can bulk up your plan with dozens of a la carte options (e.g. Showtime), and a variety of add-ons like Lifestyle Extra. That way, Sling helps ensure you spend your money on the channels you enjoy watching.

Of course, Hulu’s the only place you’ll be able to watch a growing roster of hit Hulu Originals, including the Michael Keaton miniseries Dopesick, teen drama Love Victor, Little Fires Everywhere, and Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman. So, although its Live TV plan isn't exactly cheap, it’s a simple, comprehensive solution to all your entertainment needs. 

More on this:

You can find more information about how to sign up to Hulu here (opens in new tab). If you’re still unsure whether it’s the ideal choice for you, we’ve also compared the best TV streaming services currently available in more detail.

Daniel Pateman
Daniel Pateman

Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.