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How Much Is Hulu? Find the Best Plan for You

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Thinking of giving Hulu a try? Wondering how much it will cost you? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide we’ll look to explain what Hulu is, the different plans that are available, what features each plan comes with, and of course, how much those plans cost.

If you are already familiar with the service and features and just want to know the minimum monthly fee for signing up today then Hulu costs $5.99 per month.

What is Hulu?

Hulu is a subscription service. Unlike some others, Hulu is only available in the U.S. Subscribers pay a monthly amount and in return have access to a selection of TV shows and movies, including Hulu Originals.

Overall, this is a service that focuses more on TV shows. This includes shows that have aired on live TV more recently. For example, you are far more likely to find the latest episode of a newer TV show on Hulu than you are on Netflix.

Then there’s the selection of “Originals.” These are TV shows (and movies) that the service has either exclusively licensed or actually produced. In other words, these TV shows and movies are currently only available to stream through Hulu.

One of Hulu’s most popular original shows so far is “The Handmaid’s Tale.” If you’ve never seen this one but would like to know more about it, then here’s the trailer for season one.

How many Hulu plans are there?

If you like what you saw in the trailer above and are now even more interested in signing up then there’s two main plans to choose from. In terms of content, the plans are not any different. So you don’t have to worry about missing out on any content, including The Handmaid’s Tale, by choosing one plan over another.

The two plans are the standard plan and the “No Ads” plan. We’ll now briefly go over both so you know exactly what you’re getting before signing up.

Standard Hulu plan

The standard plan is just that. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to get involved with Hulu. The plan currently costs $5.99 per month and provides unlimited access to all the content, including Hulu Originals.

At $5.99 per month, this plans offers incredible value. If you’re wondering what the catch is, it’s ads.

The standard subscription is ad-supported. This means you should expect to see ads before and during most, if not all, of the content. Hulu does market it’s approach to ads as “limited” but they are still there. Ads are something you’ll want to factor into your decision.

If you’re in need of watching on more than one device, and at the same time, then don’t worry. Hulu offers two streams with its standard plan. This means someone in the home can be streaming on the TV in the living room, while someone else is watching on their phone in another room.

  • Pros: Really cheap price. Good selection of content. Few differences compared to premium plan. Premium networks available (more on this in a minute).
  • Cons: Ads.

Hulu (No Ads) plan

The No Ads plan is fairly self-explanatory. This is Hulu, but without ads. The removal of ads does come at a premium, though, as the No Ads plan currently costs $11.99 per month.

You should also be aware that although this is marketed as a “No Ads” option, there’s still a chance you’ll see some ads occasionally. The reason for this is Hulu is obligated to show ads with certain programs.

Hulu does explain that when these situation arise, the ads will only be shown before and after. In other words, there’s no ads during the actual TV show. Again, this is rare overall with the sheer majority of TV shows presented ad-free.

Other than the lack of ads, the No Ads plan does not differ that much compared to the standard plan. The No Ads plan comes with the same number of same-time streams, supports the same devices, and also lets you add premium networks. The only major exception is downloads.

  • Pros: No ads (mostly). Premium networks available. Downloads. The best plan overall.
  • Cons: Expensive. While a “no ads” plan, you still might see ads.

Hulu downloads for offline viewing

In October 2019, Hulu announced it was finally adding downloads to its streaming service.

This was a fairly major addition and especially considering other services like Netflix already offer downloads.

With downloads on board, subscribers can now download TV show episodes (even an entire series) and then watch offline without an internet connection.

The major caveat to this is downloads are only available to No Ads plan subscribers. This makes downloads one of the newer major differences between the two plans. The standard subscription is only for streaming, while the No Ads plan is for streaming and downloading.

Standard and No Ads plans compared

Although you now know the different plans that are on offer, sometimes it can help to visually see the differences between the two plans.

Here’s a quick reminder of how the standard plan stacks up against the No Ads plan.

Standard
No Ads
Price p/m
$6
$12
Ad-Free
X
Streams
2
2
Premium networks
Downloads
X

Are there any add-ons?

Yes, Hulu does let subscribers add to their streaming package to further enrich the experience.

Most notably, this comes in the form of premium networks.

At the moment, there’s four premium networks that can be added to either the standard or No Ads plan. These networks are CINEMAX, HBO, SHOWTIME and STARZ.

As these are add-ons, they are not free and therefore the cost has to be adding on top of the cost of the original subscription. Here’s how much Hulu charges for each premium network.

  • CINEMAX costs $9.99 per month. That’s $15.98 per month with the standard plan and $21.98 per month with No Ads.
  • HBO costs $14.99 per month. That’s $20.98 per month with the standard plan and $26.98 per month with No Ads.
  • STARZ costs $8.99 per month. That’s $14.98 per month with the standard plan and $20.98 per month with No Ads.
  • SHOWTIME costs $10.99 per month. That’s $16.98 per month with the standard plan and $22.98 per month with No Ads .

Will Hulu increase plan prices?

Eventually all streaming services increase their plan prices. While we can’t say Hulu will definitely increase its prices, or anytime soon, it likely will at some point. The costs these companies pay out are constantly increasing each year and eventually those increases get passed to the consumer.

However, that’s not always the case. At least not for all plans. For example, back in January of 2019, Hulu announced a change to its pricing. Unlike the usual announcements, Hulu actually reduced the cost of its standard plan down from $7.99 per month to the current $5.99 rate. Yes, you read that right – a streaming service lowered the price.

That’s a really good sign that Hulu is not planning to up the price of its standard plan anytime soon. For those wondering, Hulu did not increase nor decrease the $11.99 per month No Ads plan at the same time.

Is there a free trial?

Yes. Like most services, Hulu does offer a free trial. In fact, you can try Hulu for 30 days without paying anything.

Tip: Hulu offers the same free trial for its standard and No Ads plans. Hulu also allows subscribers to change their plan at any time. This means even if you are only interested in the $5.99 per month plan, you can sign up for the $11.99 per month plan and enjoy an almost completely ad-free experience during the free trial.

Just be aware that you will need to change or cancel the plan before the free trial expires to avoid being charged for the first paid month.

John Finn

By John Finn

John is the founder of Streaming Clarity and has been writing about smartphones and TV-related services and devices since 2014. John streams everything and genuinely believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between streaming services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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