About Hulu Plus

In business since 2008, Hulu Plus is an online video subscription service that allows you to instantly watch current and back season shows from ABC, Comedy Central, The CW, FOX, NBC, MTV and Univision, on almost any internet-connected device. As such, Hulu Plus calls themselves the “premium streaming destination.”

In addition to TV-centric content though, Hulu Plus also offers a variety of full-length movies, original series, documentaries, kid’s choices, individual clips, film trailers, and more.

But when it comes down to it, what benefits will Hulu Plus provide? Is upgrading worth your hard-earned money? And how does Hulu Plus stack up against the stiff competition? Let’s take a look:

What’s the Difference Between Basic Hulu & Hulu Plus?

Other than their prices (which we’ll discuss more in a moment), the primary difference between Hulu and Hulu Plus is the amount of content you’ll have access to.

For the free, standard version of Hulu, you’ll generally only have access to a few of the most recent TV show episodes, while the Plus version will provide access to full seasons. You’ll still have your queue available in both versions, although Hulu Plus will allow you to view next-day episodes of your favorite programming in advance.

With this said, GadgetReview puts it nicely:

“Keep in mind that the Hulu roster is always shifting based not only on new episodes that have aired, but also on the current contracts that Hulu has with content providers. Therefore, it is very difficult to make sweeping statements about what is available through Hulu vs. through the full Hulu Plus service. The easiest method is to visit the list of Hulu shows and movies, and look up a specific title. Click on the title, and it will show you both how many episodes are available through Hulu, and how many you get through Hulu Plus.”

Also, another important consideration is that content in a basic Hulu account is generally only available by logging onto the website using your PC, while Hulu Plus can be accessed from hundreds of different devices, which is what we’ll discuss next.

Do You Enjoy SHOWTIME® ?

Hulu subscribers can now access even more content through the company’s new SHOWTIME® Premium Add-On. This means you’ll be able to watch the same SHOWTIME® content you enjoy through your cable provider, but now on any HULU-supported device.

Considering this upgrade? It sounds pretty awesome, but there’s one huge factor to remember: HULU’s add-on fee is in addition to what you already pay your cable service. You’ll be paying for 2 different SHOWTIME® subscriptions for the exact same content, just on different devices.

Is this worth it? Only you can decide.

What Do You Need to Use Hulu Plus?

According to the Hulu Plus website, “Users only need a Flash 10.1.53.64 enabled computer and an Internet connection to enjoy.” This is because Hulu Plus is app-based, which means you don’t necessarily need any specific kind of hardware to enjoy their programming. This also means you can pause a program on your computer, log in on your phone a day later, and pick right back up where you left off.

While this is the basic set up, the reality is that you’ll be able to watch Hulu Plus programming on just about any internet-connected iOS, Android, or Amazon Kindle Fire device, in addition to Xbox, PS3, Roku, and many more. For more information, be sure to browse through Hulu Plus’s full list of supported devices.

Regardless of whether you’re watching on your computer or another device, Hulu Plus runs on a pretty minimal user interface, which makes viewing easier on the eyes.

Other Streaming Subscription Services

Despite the amount of TV-related content featured on Hulu Plus, as well as the app’s widespread integration and ease of use, this doesn’t mean that the service doesn’t have some stiff competition. This includes popular options such as Netflix, Amazon Instant, and hundreds of content-specific apps (e.g. NBA TV, HBO Go, Pluto TV, and more).

When compared to these other options, the primary benefit of Hulu Plus is the sheer number of TV shows featured on the website. However, it’s important to note that Hulu Plus is limited to a maximum of 720p for streaming content, as well as stereo sound only.

As such, if you have a state-of-the art entertainment and sound system, Hulu Plus’s content may not be your go-to option.

Does Hulu Plus Contain Advertisements? If So, Why?

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and giving Hulu Plus a try, one of the first questions that probably came to mind was, “Why does Hulu Plus contain ads?”

Ultimately, this is a perfectly reasonable question. After all, if you upgraded from a standard Hulu account to a Plus version and found that you’re still subjected to advertisements, you might have been more than a little miffed.

In Hulu Plus’s own words, they call themselves an “ad-supported subscription service” that features a “modest amount of advertising run[ning] during normal commercial breaks.”

And while there’s no indication on the Hulu Plus website as to how much “modest” advertising you’ll experience, or how long each advertisement will be, many of us here at HighYa are Hulu Plus subscribers and have found that—on average—you’ll be forced to sit through eight to nine 15-second commercials for every half-hour TV show you watch.

Perhaps to add insult to injury, we’ve also found that the length and frequency of ads has only increased over the years, and that only a few ads are on rotation at any given time. Ultimately, this means that if you watch several episodes of your favorite TV show in a row, you could end up watching (and re-watching) the same ads over and over again.

Hulu Plus’s New “No Commercials” Plan

It seems that Hulu is listening to their customers though.

As of September 2015, the company announced their new No Commercials plan. As the name implies, this allows you to continue receiving the same Hulu Plus content, but without any commercials.

Will you have to pay more? Yes. How much? We’ll cover in the Pricing section below.

Related: Seeso Review

What are Customers Saying about Hulu Plus?

Since writing our original Hulu Plus review, 110 HighYa readers have provided their feedback on the service, and rated it an average of 2 stars. While the most common compliment included being able to watch popular TV shows at any time, by far the most common complaint (here on HighYa as well as elsewhere online) referenced that, even if you pay money to upgrade to Hulu Plus, you’ll still have to watch several commercials for each TV episode you watch. Because of this, many Hulu Plus customers have called into question its overall value.

Other less common complaints appear to revolve around poor playback (constant buffering, freezing, etc.), which is more relevant to a customer’s router and internet connection than it is to the streaming service, and a less-than-stellar selection of non-TV content.

At the time of our research, there were also a whopping 4,500+ Hulu Plus customer reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 3.3 stars. There, common compliments and complaints mirrored those found here on HighYa.

From a professional standpoint, Digital Trends wrote an in-depth comparison between Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video earlier this year, and although they noted that Hulu Plus does have some solid features, they recommended that you choose one of the other services, unless you need to keep up on your favorite network TV shows.

Similarly, Geek.com wrote, “Hulu Plus has a significant library of content, and their attempts to bring a social element to their sharing and commentary may end up being a big deal to specific groups of users, but it is pretty clear which service is the better overall provider of content. If you have to choose between the two, Netflix is absolutely the way to go.”

As a company, Hulu, LLC is based out of Santa Monica, CA. They weren’t rated with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research, although they did have 57 closed complaints (as of 6/10/15). Most of these appeared to reference difficulty cancelling subscriptions and stopping automatic charges.

Hulu Plus Pricing & Refund Policy

A basic Hulu account is free, and an upgraded Hulu Plus membership (now known as a Limited Commercial plan) will run you $7.99 per month. Don’t want commercials? You’ll need to pony up $11.99 for Hulu Plus’s new No Commercials plan.

If you do the math, this means your Hulu Plus subscription will increase by 33%, which is fairly significant. As we mentioned above, it can be painful to watch the same commercials over and over again, so this big increase might be worthwhile.

The new SHOWTIME Premium Add-On will cost an additional $8.99 per month.

Important note: If you’re new to Hulu Plus, the company offers a free 1-week trial. At the end of this trial however, your account will automatically roll over to a paid subscription if you don’t call to cancel.

Unless the company suspends or cancels your Hulu Plus account, no refunds are available. In other words, once you cancel your membership, it will continue until your pre-paid period expires, after which you’ll no longer have access.

In order to cancel your Hulu Plus account or ask questions, you can contact customer service at (888) 265-6650 or through an online form.

Is Hulu Plus Worth Your Money?

Chopping to the point: As we mentioned in our Cutting the Cord article, there are a lot of important decisions to be made when the time comes, most of which largely depend on your personal preferences. And while no service is perfect, Hulu Plus is really the only game in town if you want quick and easy access to recent, popular TV shows featured on major networks.

And the new No Commercial and SHOWTIME plans can add even more entertainment value, although they’ll also increase your monthly expenses by a decent amount.

As such, in our opinion, Hulu Plus is definitely worth trying out if you’ve recently found freedom from cable. And once you become more familiar with your other options, you can then decide whether or not Hulu Plus’s advertisements and other quirks are worth your hard-earned money.

Read Next: Streaming Services: With So Many Choices, How Can You Pick the Right One?

Want to Learn Expert Tips for Online Safety?

Join over 3 million HighYa readers who receive weekly how-to guides, tips & reviews and get a FREE COPY of our Complete Online Safety e-book. Enter your email below to get started!

160 Customer Reviews for Hulu Plus

Average Customer Rating: 1.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 11 4 stars: 6 3 stars: 9 2 stars: 36 1 stars: 98
Bottom Line: 11% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 160
Sort reviews by:

  • Netflix is better!

    Show series are not complete. Episodes expire or are missing, and some seasons only have 5% of its episodes! So, if you want to watch a series from beginning or end, prepare to skip episodes or seasons. And there are also commercials, even when you purchase the more expensive option. And commercials are every few minutes!

    You might be better off just watching regular TV. Usually the episodes of new shows that air on TV are available on Hulu, so basically, you can only watch select episodes on Hulu that are on TV. The movie selection is slim, and you can't look up actors, only movie titles!

    Really, go to Netflix: they have complete series, no commercials, and a whole bunch of movies!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • Doesn't quite cut it

    • Austin, TX,
    • Mar 30, 2017

    I’ve been a user of Hulu since the days of free content. After skyrocketing into the business world and charging premium prices for what is more often than not mediocre material, I’ve switched to SelectTV. It’s less than half the price of a basic Hulu subscription and arguably better, with loads of content catered toward my taste and with a nice clean interface.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Glorified Netflix

    • Pennsylvania,
    • Mar 23, 2017

    Defiantly worth it for the price vs. Netflix. Netflix offers too many B-rated movies, if not C. Netflix gives each movie like 4-6 genres.

    It is better than cable! Thanks Hulu.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Why I hate Hulu

    I hate how Hulu gets rid of shows. I was in the middle of watching Ren and Stimpy (literally in the middle of the show) when my TV pops up a message saying that the show no long is available. This is the first time it's happened. This is just ridiculous. So, I am not happy with Hulu anymore.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (1)
    View all 1 commentsHide comments
    • Mar 21, 2017

      Jake

      Yeah aside from that issue, I also haven't been very happy with a number of commercials on their basic plan. I canceled my cable to get away from that. So, a friend got me to try SelectTV, which is half the price of Hulu and has a lot more shows.

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Worse one out there

    • Tennessee,
    • Feb 15, 2017

    Just get Netflix, Amazon Prime or Starz. Hulu is by far the worse one out there.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • Bremen, GA,
    • Jan 14, 2017

    If you enjoy not being able to watch a show without it freezing up, then this is for you. It's a waste of money. Netflix and Amazon work great, but Hulu just freezes again and again. It's the program, not the other stuff they tell you to check 1000 times. I tried to deal with it, but alas I got rid of it. Too bad, because they have stuff Netflix doesn't have.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Video lag

    • California,
    • Jan 7, 2017

    I have watched a few different shows and movies and there has been some serious lag. Makes for a very terrible experience with this service!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 4 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Bait and Switch

    Hulu offers "limited commercials," but after the first three days of watching, they give you about equal time for commercials and the show itself. Whenever you try to contact them about this, they offer you "commercial free" at twice the price.

    I hate being lied to. If they had said up front that I would be getting an overload of commercials, I still would have signed up, because it's still a lot less than being bilked by cable TV. I would not have been disappointed.

    Hulu is a real disappointment.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Free trial is a lie

    • Wichita, KS,
    • Dec 15, 2016

    You said free trial but you tried to put a hold on my account 4 times in one day.

    That account had no money in it until today, which I knew and was not using, and now I was 1.40 negative from your 4 tries. Thanks for that "free trial."

    Might not seem like much that 35 cents I was charged for each try you made, but the fact is it's MY money and YOUR fault. Shame on you Hulu.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Does Hulu ever change its movie selection

    I think I had Hulu for months before canceling a few months back and they maybe added one or two movies a month and the majority of their movie selection seemed to be low-quality. They contained movies no one wants to watch, similar to how Netflix was, although Netflix has improved a lot.

    Hulu needs to change out the entire selection. I signed back up last night excited to get back Hulu after not having it for a few months, but then was highly disappointed to see the content, particularly the movie selection was still exactly the same, and still a horrible selection!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


  • 9 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Paying a subcription and the video's don't work

    • Wabasha, MN,
    • Oct 4, 2016

    I recently purchased the commercial free subscription ($11.99/month) on Hulu. Everything was fine at the start, now the video's will not play at all. I went through all the recommended troubleshooting that Hulu recommended and nothing worked. I have contacted them several times and they have or will not respond to me.

    Bottom line is that Hulu subscriptions are not worth it. I have canceled my subscription and will be using Netflix and Amazon.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    Help others find the most helpful reviews

    Was this review helpful?

    yes no
    Comments (0)
    View all 0 commentsHide comments

    Do you have an account? Log In before commenting.

    (If you don’t have an account – don’t worry, you can create it after)


Showing 1-11 of 160

Write a review for Hulu Plus!

Share your experience to help others avoid scams & discover great products!

Write a Review