Fast Company

Is Hulu Plus Worth the Cost (and Commercials)?

Hulu Plus is Real: /Month for iPhone, iPad and TV Viewing

Hulu Plus, the long-awaited subscription service from the streaming video pioneer, was praised for its high-quality mobile app and the promise of a greatly enlarged selection. But a certain study came out today that suggest that Hulu Plus might not be worth even the meager $10 per month it costs.

Research firm One Touch Intelligence analyzed the catalogs of both Hulu and Hulu Plus, and found that a whopping 88% of Hulu Plus's more than 28,000 episodes are also found on standard free Hulu. If you're talking video clips, that percentage goes up to 98%.

There are few benefits to subscribing to Hulu Plus, when compared with the data. There are still ads, in the same quantity as on free Hulu. There is a mobile app for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) but not for Android, BlackBerry, or any other mobile platform. So is it really worth paying $10 per month for a mere 12% (about 3,345 episodes) of exclusive content?

Even worse, much of said content can be found on other services, most comparably Netflix. Netflix, at its base price, costs only $9 per month, comes with a far larger selection of movies and older TV shows, and also offers DVD- or Blu-ray-by-mail service. Hulu Plus is a better choice to watch shows as they air, but is that worth the cost?

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in Brooklyn (no link for that one--you'll have to do the legwork yourself).

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3 Comments

  • CC-Gal

    2 and a half years later.  There is an app for Android.  Hulu free cannot be viewed on your smart phone, tablet or home media devices unless you run it straight from the computer using your television as a monitor.  It's now $7.99 a month.  To be able to use the hulu plus app(s) on my smarttv, cell phone, tablet, and blueray wifi player without having to connect my computer to any of the devices make the $8 price worth it. My only drawback has been that Syfy will not allow their content to be shown on hulu plus, so I have to watch those programs on my desktop or laptop computers.  Not that big of a deal.

  • Nate O'Shaughnessey

    Depends on the shows. Netflix recent unanounced movie delay hasn't made them a crowd favorite either. As a Netflix subscriber and regular Hulu user as our only television, we have no cable TV etc.
    No mobile app for andriod etc? while I can see that as a drawback, who actually watches full TV episodes on their smartphones? Ok, sure some do, but not very many of us.

    Maybe it isn't worth it for most people, but what product is perfect for everyone. Depending on the actual content difference, not just the percentage, we may consider subscribing soon, but again, if you have cable with a DVR already, there probably is almost no point to Hulu Plus.

    Valuation of a service like this is highly subjective.
    I can see many people's reasons for thinking it's a good value, or not, depending on their circumstances, personal lives, tastes etc.

  • ClickBrain

    I'm canceling my trial today. Not sure what they were thinking, but they launched an absolutely worthless product that's not worth paying for. That happens all the time in business, but in this case its blatantly obvious its worthless.