Hulu has long been one of the top names in streaming. With Hulu plans you have access to a vast on-demand library and a competitive live TV plan, the Disney-owned platform offers one of the most impressive content mixes around. It’s a great choice for families and other cord-cutters who don’t want to sacrifice binge-worthy content or the most popular cable TV networks.
In October 2023, Hulu made some significant pricing adjustments and expanded some of its live TV plan options. To see what’s happening, I subscribed to Hulu + Live TV and spent some time exploring the service. Here’s an in-depth look at what I learned about Hulu’s plans and pricing for 2023.
Hulu plans and pricing compared: How much is Hulu?
Hulu’s basic plan comes in an ad-supported and an ad-free tier. For live TV, the platform offers four different options. All four feature more than 90 live TV channels, but you can adjust which on-demand content has ads. The fourth option is a new Live TV Only option that doesn’t include access to Hulu’s on-demand library, Disney Plus, or ESPN Plus but slightly reduces the overall Hulu cost. Keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of each available plan.
|Plan||Monthly Price||Channels||On-demand Content Ads||Simultaneous Streams|
|Hulu (No Ads)||$17.99||None||No||2|
|Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus||$76.99||90+||Yes||2|
|Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus (No Ads) and ESPN Plus||$81.99||90+||Yes, except on Disney Plus||2|
|Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV, Disney Plus (No Ads) and ESPN Plus||$89.99||90+||No||2|
|Live TV Only||$75.99||90+||N/A||2|
Hulu’s basic plan doesn’t include any live TV, but you’ll have unfettered access to more than 70,000 on-demand episodes and movies on the platform. That includes Hulu originals like “Only Murderers in the Building,” new FX hits like “The Bear,” and Oscar-winning films like “Midnight in Paris.”
All content plays with ads in the basic plan, and it’s the go-to for cord-cutters on a budget or those looking for a mix of different streaming services. As a many-year subscriber to the basic plan, I’ve binged on many shows and movies over the years.
Hulu (No Ads)
Hulu’s ad-free plan has all the same content as the basic plan, but you can watch even more because it all plays without ads. Hulu (No Ads) also allows you to download content for offline viewing so you can watch on the go. At $10 extra per month, it’s a pricey upgrade that not all streamers can stomach.
Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus
Now, we jump to Hulu’s live TV plans. At the starting price point of $76.99 a month, you’ll get access to Hulu’s full list of more than 90 channels, plus the same massive content library available in the basic plan. This subscription also unlocks Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for a massive amount of bonus on-demand and live content — and unlimited cloud DVR storage. At this price point, all live and on-demand content plays with ads.
Having tried many different streaming services over the years, I still think this option gives you more bang for your buck than any other subscription on the market. It doesn’t offer as many channels as some competitors do, but the combination of popular live TV, plenty of sports, and a robust on-demand library is tough to beat.
Hulu + Live TV, Disney Plus (No Ads) and ESPN Plus
Maybe you’re OK with ads, but you’d rather your kids didn’t soak in all that marketing. For an extra $5 per month, you can turn off the ads in Disney Plus. All other aspects of this plan are the same as the basic Hulu + Live TV plan. As it’s a legacy plan, it’s only available to current subscribers. If you have this plan and prefer it, don’t cancel, as you won’t be able to get it again!
Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV, Disney Plus (No Ads) and ESPN Plus
Anyone — new subscriber or not — can upgrade to Hulu + Live TV’s ad-free plan. For an extra $13 per month, you can remove ads from almost all on-demand content on Hulu and Disney Plus. All live TV and ESPN Plus content will still play with ads. This plan also allows you to download content for offline viewing. Nonetheless, the extra money is a lot to ask for a limited set of extra features, unless you really can’t stand the brief ad breaks.
Live TV Only
Hulu recently added a plan to cater to viewers who can do without the Disney Bundle. This plan does just what its name implies — gives you access to only the 90-plus live TV channels without anything more. You only save $1 a month but lose access to the massive Hulu and Disney Plus libraries and all the sports content on ESPN Plus. This takes away a lot of the core value of Hulu + Live TV, but it may suit viewers who prefer Hulu’s channel lineup to what’s offered on other services.
What content does Hulu offer?
Hulu features loads of new shows from networks like ABC, NBC, and FX, not to mention a huge swath of rotating classic shows and films. Its original programming includes stellar shows like “How I Met Your Father,” “The Hardy Boys,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” plus award-nominated films like “Palm Springs” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”
With Hulu + Live TV, you also get access to some of the top networks, including local affiliates for ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, NBC, and PBS. You can watch sports on channels like ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, and NFL Network, explore entertainment on networks like Comedy Central, E!, and Animal Planet, and keep up with the news on CNN, CNBC, and Fox News. Then you can jump over to ESPN Plus to watch more live sports or Disney Plus to dive into the Star Wars or Marvel universes. It’s genuinely tough to decide what to watch here!
What add-ons does Hulu + Live TV offer?
Hulu doesn’t offer as many add-ons as some of its competitors, but there are a few choices available to subscribers.
Hulu add-ons for all subscribers
- Disney Plus (With Ads): $2/mo.
- Cinemax: $9.99/mo.
- Max: $15.99/mo.
- SHOWTIME: $10.99/mo.
- STARZ: $9.99/mo.
Hulu add-ons for Live TV subscribers
- Español Add-on: $4.99/mo.
- Entertainment Add-on: $7.99/mo.
- Sports Add-on: $9.99/mo.
- Unlimited Screens Add-on: $9.99/mo.
Hulu deals and free trial offers
Hulu still offers one of the best free trials in the business. If you’re new to the platform, you can try the basic Hulu or Hulu (No Ads) plan for free for 30 days. Hulu + Live TV plans do not offer a free trial. College students can also qualify for Hulu’s student discount, which grants access to the basic plan for $1.99 a month. If you don’t opt for the live TV plan, you can still consider the Disney Bundle, which includes Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for up to 44% off the price of buying all three services separately.
How to watch Hulu
It’s easy to get started with Hulu. You can sign up for Hulu’s basic plans or visit Hulu + Live TV to choose a TV subscription. Once you create your account, you can watch Hulu on a range of supported devices, such as your computer web browser, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire tablets and TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, and various smart TVs.
Is Hulu worth it?
Hulu offers an impressive slate of streaming options for all kinds of cord-cutters. There are some who will find the Hulu library more than enough for their streaming needs. Others, like my family, will be drawn to the value of the Disney Bundle and its excellent mix of on-demand entertainment and live sports. And many will find that the whole package, with live TV thrown in, is well worth the price.
In short, there’s something here for nearly every kind of streamer. Still, if you want regional sports, prefer a wider set of cable channels, or want a different mix of on-demand entertainment, you may want to check out some of Hulu’s competitors.
Does Hulu have an annual plan?
Hulu offers annual pricing for its basic ad-supported plan. You can get the annual plan for $79.99 a year, which amounts to 16% off the monthly price.
What is the difference between Hulu Basic and Hulu + Live TV?
Hulu’s basic plan includes full access to the Hulu library and two simultaneous streams, while Hulu + Live TV includes more than 90 live TV channels and unlimited DVR. Both services offer options for ad-free or ad-supported on-demand content.
Can I watch Hulu + Live TV for free?
Hulu + Live TV doesn’t currently offer a free trial. In order to explore the platform for yourself, you’ll need to pay for a month’s subscription, which starts at $76.99.
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