With so many streaming services to choose from, it can be hard to know where to allocate your hard-earned money. Netflix is the one to turn to the most, but there are other options in the streaming service market. Two of the most popular Netflix alternatives are Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. Is Hulu a better deal than Amazon Prime Video? Prime Video is the second most popular streaming service and Hulu is fourth, but there’s a lot more to discover. We’ll review each service and see how they compare in a battle between Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
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Amazon offers two main pricing tiers: $139 per year (reduced to $69 per year when you sign up with a valid student email address) or $15 per month. Both versions include all the goodies of Amazon Prime, like two-day shipping, reduced prices on select items, cloud storage, and most importantly for our purposes, video and music streaming at Requirement.
The best part is that, unlike Netflix, 4K Ultra HD content with HDR comes standard at no extra cost. Plus, you can share accounts with friends and family so everyone can participate in offers. You can also supplement Amazon’s included content with optional channel add-ons, such as CBS All Access, for an additional fee. Amazon doesn’t have a live TV streaming service per se, but many of the content providers it has partnered with for Prime Video also offer the ability to watch their shows “live.”
Hulu starts at just $8 for the ad-based service or $15 for the ad-free option (which we highly recommend). Hulu’s options don’t end there, as it also offers a live TV streaming package similar to Sling TV, YouTube TV, Philo, and Fubo. The Hulu With Live TV streaming service includes Disney+ and ESPN+. It’s currently $70 per month and includes over 90 live streaming channels in addition to its usual on-demand library. There are also additional features such as enhanced DVR and an ad-free experience for $76 per month. Starting in December 2022, these prices will increase to $75 (with ads) and $83 (without ads).
If you watch a lot of Disney+, ESPN+, or live TV shows, Hulu’s live TV may be your winner because Amazon doesn’t offer live TV. While Hulu’s $8 tier alone is technically cheaper, especially for those who want to stream 4K at the lowest possible price, Amazon offers the most value given all of its other perks and its complete lack of of advertisements. Amazon also said the company won’t raise prices for 4K streaming. To throwand he walks away with victory here.
Amazon Prime Video has a catalog of thousands of titles to watch before adding premium options like Starz or Showtime. Amazon continues to invest heavily in original content, like The wheel of time, The boys, and power rings. Where Amazon really shines is in quantity. It has almost more titles than Netflix and Hulu combined, with 26,000 movies and 2,700 TV shows. And, of course, if you’re leaving a cable provider and think you’ll miss out on pay-per-view options, Amazon has a huge collection of new releases available to buy or rent.
Hulu, which is part-owned by Disney, has access to an unrivaled collection of over 1,300 TV shows, making it a great choice if you really want to replace cable TV access to major networks. Most shows are available the day after they air live on their respective broadcasters, with the exception of CBS, which is not part of Hulu. It has a decent collection of 1,200 movies, but you can tell the movies aren’t the main attraction.
Of course, it will depend on which show and movies are important to you, but we’ll give this one to Hulu for now because while it might not fit the breadth of the selection from Amazon, we think you’ll actually want to watch more. from the Hulu catalog.
These days, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu can be accessed on just about everything, from Android and iOS devices to Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices. The full list is way too long to include, so head over to each provider’s website to see if your device has made the cut: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video.
Interface and ease of use
The Amazon interface offers several categories such as Continue Watching, Amazon Originals, and Recommended movies. One point in its favor is that you can browse Prime Video right on Amazon’s webpage and its various apps, and it also works great with Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices. However, these interfaces often differ from each other, and frankly, some are not as intuitive as others. If you subscribe to a premium channel, you can do so through Amazon Prime Video Channels and have the content appear directly in the Prime Video interface.
Hulu has a relatively intuitive interface, offering categories like Keep Watching, TV, Movies, and Kids that make it easy to navigate. You can also add premium channels like HBO, and shows and movies from those channels will appear on your Hulu interface.
Hulu was the big winner here, but Amazon Prime Video has really stepped up the interface game lately. They are both pretty equal now, and it would come down to personal preference.
Audio and video quality
As mentioned above, Amazon offers 4K Ultra HD resolution and HDR streaming support and does so at no additional cost. In terms of video quality, it’s huge, and those with large, high-quality TVs (55-inches and above) should take note. Hulu’s 4K UHD content continues to grow and is currently available on a range of devices, including Apple TV 4K set-top boxes (fifth generation and up), Xbox One/X/S, Roku, Chromecast Ultra, Amazon Fire TV devices , Vizio SmartCast TVs, and 2017, 2018 and 2020 LG UHD TVs.
When it comes to audio quality, Hulu has limited stereo sound for the vast majority of its content, though the same shows are available in 5.1 surround sound elsewhere. Yes, some select shows and movies support 5.1, but it’s nowhere near as impressive as Amazon’s 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos surround sound encoding on some content. Did we mention there’s no extra charge for this premium A/V support? Yes, Amazon wins this one without breaking a sweat.
Release date of new content
It’s hard to find fresher content than Hulu’s list of TV shows. With a few exceptions, every episode will be available within 24 hours of its original airing, and if you’re on the most expensive ad-free plan, you can watch them uninterrupted, which is worth waiting a day for.
If you don’t want to upgrade to premium ($15 per month compared to the standard $8 fee), ads can really get in the way of Hulu’s greatness. Users who don’t progress will have to watch a stream of ads, the number of which has only become more frequent (and yet, less varied) as the service has grown. Hulu’s movies are less current but no older than what you’ll find on most competing services.
As mentioned before, at $70 a month, which includes live sports and news if you’re willing to pay. In contrast, Amazon has “chains”, which allows you to add selected premium channels with newer content. Of course, if you don’t pay for the channels on Amazon (which are expensive to add), you can buy the latest episodes, but you’ll end up paying a huge premium that will make it anything but prohibitively expensive ($2-$3 per episode for SD, $3 to $4 for HD, or $20 to $40 or more for a “season pass”).
For serious cord cutters looking to stream the latest series, Hulu is the only way to go.
Amazon and Hulu have caught up with Netflix with quality original programming. For Amazon, notable content includes highly commented shows like The wheel of time, boys, Jack Ryanand The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, all of which are worth checking out. Additionally, Amazon has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its new the Lord of the Rings series. Jeff Bezos has enough pockets to compete with virtually anyone streaming.
While none of these services can compete with Netflix when it comes to original content, we’re giving this one to Amazon because, at the moment, anyway, we think they’re spending more aggressively on new content. than Hulu, which bodes well for the future. That said, with Disney taking over Hulu, that could change quickly.
- Will the children watch? If you need parental controls, Amazon has a full set of filters for young viewers, both on its Fire TV devices and in Amazon Prime itself. Hulu says it respects your device’s content settings, but offers no specific controls.
- Live? Hulu with Live TV is really the only choice between the two services. Amazon’s Fire TV Recast is an intriguing way to get free OTA shows, but it’s not quite the same thing. Sure, you’re going to pay a lot more for adding Hulu + Live TV to round out your on-demand content, but the $70 monthly subscription is a fraction of what you’d pay for a normal cable bill.
In Hulu’s battle against Amazon Prime, if you already have an Amazon Prime subscription, there’s virtually no competition – you’re already paying for Prime Video, so might as well take advantage of it. You can add Hulu’s cheaper ad-supported plan as a quick and easy way to catch some shows and live TV you might be missing.
If you don’t have a Prime subscription, however, an ad-free Hulu subscription is a solid choice. Despite the lack of 4K and better sound formats, Hulu has the content to please almost any viewer, especially if you like big network TV shows.