Pros and Cons of Hulu

Streaming services boasting loads of original content has dominated the entertainment spectrum over the last decade. Even now, in 2020, several more services are about to hit the big stage, to provide even fresher, original content for a perpetually entertainment-ravenous public. But one service that has had a long history of staying power, as well as having gone through its evolutionary process has been Hulu. 

Hulu may not be a content juggernaut like Netflix, but it holds its own. What it lacks in the volume of new original content (which is growing annually), it makes up for in other ways that its rival streaming services are not. With the recent acquisition of Fox by Disney, Hulu has prospered in picking up specific properties, which make it an even more lucrative viewer destination. 

Here are some pros as well as some cons of Hulu:

Pros of Hulu

1.) Price: Hulu has two price models. There is a limited commercials model which comes to just $5.99 as well as a more premium, commercial-free, $11.99 model. The lower tier does have commercials before and during the show, though each typically tops out at 90 seconds (most times its less than that), and is a small inconvenience for half the price of the upper tier. Even at the $11.99 price, per month Hulu is less than both competing giants Netflix and Amazon.

2.) Well Received Original Content: Noted for their original series, Hulu boasts a slate of dramas and comedies for everyone to enjoy. While their unique content collection is far from Netflix’s, they do focus deeply on quality and devote a lot more resources to making quality original tv programming, rather than focusing on original movies. The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock are two examples of fantastic content that Hulu is putting out.  

The Handmaids Tale
GEORGE KRAYCHYK/HULU

3.) Quick Recent Episode Availability: Aside from the original content, Hulu caters heavily to current TV shows. Miss an episode last night? Chances are Hulu will have it uploaded tomorrow for you to view! Allowing for busy subscribers to catch up on shows they may not have time to watch real-time is a big plus for Hulu, and is something other streaming services do not offer in the same way.

4.) Live TV Option: While it is an extra monthly charge, Hulu carries a slew of live channels that people can use as their regular tv service. Featuring many options, including an array of sports channels, Hulu is the only service to combine original content like other streaming services with the live TV option. Perfect for the cord-cutter community, The additional fee for having Live TV months blows every cable tv price in existence out of the water. 

5.) Disney: In a development that has come about over the last couple of years, Disney’s purchase of Fox positively affects Hulu. As the majority owner of Hulu, Fox passed the rights on to Disney. While Disney now has its platform, it is primarily geared to a younger audience, whereas Hulu gives Disney a place to put out some more mature shows. In addition to that, Hulu is now home to FOX and FX libraries, boasting a ton of great content.

Cons of Hulu

1.) Number of Originals: For those mainly invested in original programming, Hulu has a fair share to offer. Those who want to find out what is in store for the future can find that Hulu is only ramping up its slate of originals in the coming years significantly. But if we are going by sheer volume, let’s face it, Netflix is untouchable in the originals department, and in fact, may never be. From that standpoint, Hulu’s choices, while aplenty, do come up short.

2.) Content Library: While Netflix offers a staggering 100,000 options, Hulu’s is more around the 5,000 number. As Hulu grows as a network, it will, of course, increase that number significantly, but it would be next to impossible even to come close to catching Netflix as of this point.

3.) Downloads: While Netflix, for example, allows users to download shows through their app for offline viewing, Hulu does not have that option widely incorporated, at least not currently. There is always a good chance the something like this will be available soon but at this time, its a limitation. The functionality was introduced in October of 2019, but it is its very early stages at this time.

4.) Commercials: This one is a double-edged sword, and one side of this “con” is not fair to point out without the other. Yes, the more affordable Hulu model does come with commercials, so for those for whom this is a big sticking point, it is not ideal. Those users may not like that they have to double their monthly price to get rid of commercials. On the other hand, it is a mostly painless sticking point. The ads are often less than half the length of TV commercial breaks and are not a big deal. 

5.) Availability: Wheres other streaming services have a worldwide reach; this might be Hulu’s one significant, legitimate limitation. It is currently available only in the US and in Japan. This is not just limiting to audiences but stunting to Hulu’s growth as a company. However, especially with Disney’s association, this is a factor likely to change. 

Alan Behrens
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