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Disney Plus vs Hulu

Last updated: November 17, 2020

Starts at $6.99/mo
vs
Starts at $5.99/mo

Disney has made quite the splash in the cord cutter community. Between Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+, they have more major streaming platforms than anyone else out there. If you have come to this page, you are probably thinking that either Disney+ or Hulu could be good fits for your streaming needs. With the Disney name behind both of them, how do you choose the right service for you?

Disney+ and Hulu are both compelling options. That is where we come in, with all the information you need to make the right choice.

Hulu: A subscription video-on-demand service with a live TV option

Hulu Pros: Hulu Cons:
  • More varied on-demand catalog
  • Recently aired shows available on demand
  • Popular original programming
  • Live TV available
  • Ad-free option available
  • The most affordable plan includes ads
  • Smaller on-demand library than Netflix
  • Live TV plan not very customizable

Disney+: A subscription video-on-demand service with only Disney’s kid-friendly content

Disney+ Pros: Disney+ Cons:
  • Plenty of kid-friendly content
  • Popular franchises like Marvel and Star Wars
  • Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices
  • No ads
  • A growing library of original content
  • No mature content
  • No Live TV options
  • No add-ons available
  • Less original content at this point
  • No free trial

What's the Difference Between Disney+ and Hulu?

Disney+ dashboard

Disney+ and Hulu are both streaming services offering extensive on-demand catalogs. Both offer month-to-month subscriptions with no long-term commitment. There are, however, some key differences between Disney+ and Hulu that you need to know.

First, with Hulu, there is the opportunity to upgrade to Hulu + Live TV, an option that adds access to live streams of 67 channels (in the basic package) on top of the on-demand catalog. Disney+ offers no such Live TV options.

The fact that Hulu has been around longer than Disney+ shows in the quality of its app. The search functionality and general usability of the app are superior to that of the Disney+ app. When it comes to sound and video quality, though, Disney+ has the edge, featuring a significant amount of 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and 5.1 surround sound content. Hulu’s library is largely limited to 1080p and stereo surround sound.

Both services allow you to stream simultaneously across multiple devices. Hulu starts you at 2 screens, letting you upgrade to unlimited screens at home and 3 screens away from home. Disney+ lets you stream on up to 4 devices, with no additional upgrade option.

Device support is unlikely to be an issue for either service. Both services are available for a wide range of devices including Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Fire TV. Both are also available on iOS and Android as well as in your web browser. The only potential concern for compatibility is that Disney+ is not supported on some older smart TV’s or certain game systems (Xbox 360, PS3, Switch). A Switch app is expected to be available in the future.

What You Can Watch on Disney+ vs. Hulu

Hulu screen
Hulu screen

Disney+ offers exclusively Disney-owned content. This includes an extensive library of Disney classics, recent movies, and whole seasons of Disney TV shows. Since Disney owns Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar, this leads to quite a bit of exclusive blockbuster content. Did we mention documentaries? Disney+ includes several National Geographic specials. What Disney+ does not have, however, is anything R-rated. Their content is intended to cater to a younger crowd, so no mature content will be available on Disney+.

Hulu is also owned by Disney, but they do not have the same kid-friendly restriction for their content. Thus, Disney’s more mature content will typically be available on Hulu instead. For example, Disney+ will be your home for Captain Marvel, but Hulu is where you will find Marvel's Runaways. Along with Disney content, Hulu also contains content from most major networks and several other channels plus popular non-Disney movies. Hulu also provides access to recently-aired episodes of many TV shows.

Both Disney+ and Hulu have original content, but once again they are geared toward different age groups. Hulu will give you such hits as the Handmaid’s Tale, whereas on Disney+ you will get the Mandalorian. Hulu has also been around for a few more years, so they have more original content.

As we mentioned previously, Hulu also gives you access to Live TV for an additional fee. As of the time of this writing, that includes 67 channels in their basic Hulu + Live TV package, with add-ons available, including HBO Max, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, and Starz. Even if you don’t go with the Live TV upgrade, you can still add these premium channels to your on-demand service.

How Much Will You Spend on Disney+ vs. Hulu?

Hulu’s ad-supported package starts at $5.99 per month. If you want to remove those ads, it will bring the price to $11.99 per month. If you want Live TV, the starting price is $54.99 per month with ads, and it rises to $60.99 per month without ads. Adding unlimited screens, premium movie channels, a DVR upgrade, or the entertainment and Spanish language add-ons will bump up these rates.

Disney+ will cost $6.99 per month. They don’t have any additional add-ons or upgrades at this time. While this is slightly more expensive than the base Hulu package, remember that this is ad-free whereas the cheapest Hulu package is not.

Hulu offers a 30-day free trial when you sign up. Disney+ used to have a free trial, but it is no longer available.

Lastly, there is the Disney+ bundle, which provides you with Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported, no Live TV), and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. Since buying Hulu and Disney+ separately will cost you $12.98 per month, this effectively gives you ESPN+ for free. This bundle can also be upgraded to ad-free Hulu, Hulu + Live TV, or to include any of the Hulu add-ons.

Disney+  vs. Hulu: Which Should You Choose?

So which option is better?

We here at Cordcutting.com can't make that call for you, but we can help guide you through the decision.

If you want more Marvel, Star Wars, or any other kid-friendly Disney franchise content, you can’t go wrong with Disney+. if you just need a cheaper ad-free option, Disney+ also has the edge.

If you want R-rated content or non-Disney TV shows and movies (including premium movie channels), Hulu will likely be the better option for you. Hulu + Live TV is also the better option if you want Live TV along with on-demand options.

Finally, if both Disney+ and Hulu sound compelling, and if you want ESPN+ as well, the Disney+ bundle is probably worth checking out.

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