The battle for streaming supremacy is heating up. In the wake of news that Netflix was implementing its biggest price hike ever, Hulu prices are dropping. The cost of its average ad-supported subscription plan will decrease from $7.99 per month to $5.99 per month starting at the end of February.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to streaming services, Netflix is the most popular name in the game. When people think streaming, they almost always automatically think of Netflix, with Hulu and Amazon Prime tailing behind. But that might start to shift due to one specific reason: money. As previously reported, Netflix is bumping its prices up significantly: the basic plan is now $9, the most popular option, HD standard, has increased to $13 a month, and 4K Premium will run you $16.
Hulu, however, will now offer its basic ad-supported service for $5.99. The commercial-free plan will remain at $11.99, as will the $12.99 Hulu/Spotify combination. Hulu with Live TV service will see a bump: from $39.99 to $44.99. The price differences between the lower Netflix and Hulu plans are rather stark. You could argue that the low-end Hulu plan sticks you with commercials, whereas Netflix does not. That’s true – commercials are annoying. But the commercial-free Hulu plan isn’t that much higher in cost than the lowest Netflix plan.
But here’s the thing: Hulu’s content is becoming increasingly better than Netflix. For one thing, Hulu is perfect if you want to stream TV shows. For another, Netflix is becoming more and more interested in their own original content. That’s fine – as long as the content turns out to be good. But if you’re hoping to watch older titles not made by Netflix, you’re probably better off with Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. Every month, Netflix pulls more and more older titles to make way for their original content, and it’s growing increasingly frustrating. As someone who writes a streaming column, I find myself struggling to find titles to recommend on Netflix, simply because the well is running dry.
It’s worth noting that Hulu’s prices might change once again as Disney takes more control of it. Disney will have a majority ownership of the streaming service once the ink on the big Disney/Fox deal dries, which might mean prices – and content – could change. For now, though, the new Hulu prices will go into effect on February 26.
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