Gone are the days of flicking through TV channels in search of entertainment. We are now spoiled of a variety of streaming services coming out. These are competing against each other and vying for market share. In every device connected to the internet, you can hop onto a streaming service and start watching. You can sit in front of your smart TV, and even without a cable set-top box. You can also choose from thousands of movies and TV shows that you stream instantly.
There are a few streaming services that come out on top. Hulu is making waves in the US and recently reaching over 30 million subscribers. Disney is tailing closely and is on track to hit 30 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Netflix has expanded globally with over 150 million subscribers worldwide.
Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus, All three have something great to offer, you can tell it through their fast-growing subscriber. But if you’re confusing whether to stick on one or to know which platform is the best for you. You are in the right place. Thus, in this in-depth analysis of the three streaming services, we will look at each one and hopefully provide the information you need to make your pick.
The Differences in the Content Library
Among all competitors, all things are equal, or at least very similar to each other. In the market that is highly sought after, it becomes harder to distinguish one brand from another. Thus, the biggest criteria that will affect your decision making is what you can watch when you turn on your device.
Netflix used to be the runaway winner in this category for being the first to establish itself as the video streaming provider of choice. But its competitors are starting to put up a good fight. Doing it with great fervor, Hulu, and Disney Plus starting to build content libraries that can rival what Netflix offers.
To give you an idea of what Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus offer, here are some of the best TV shows and movies you will find on each streaming service. We picked the exclusives list to illustrate what you will find only on the respective video streaming platforms.
Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus: Top 3 TV Shows From Each Platform
It portrays a modern Muslim American family as the titular first generation Egyptian-American. Ramy goes on a spiritual journey through his politically-divided New Jersey neighborhood.
Based on the popular novels, You is a psychological thriller starring Penn Badgely. Penn play as the dangerously charming and intensely obsessive Joe Goldberg. Joe will do everything for love, but that doesn’t always work out for his objects of affection.
The Mandalorian (2019)
The Mandalorian was the reason to subscribe to Disney Plus in 2019. The Star Wars spin-off directed by Jon Favreau put Disney Plus on everyone’s radar. It introduced a certain beloved little green alien.
Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry are two cousins who are working their way up through the Atlanta rap scene. These two up and coming artists find themselves having to blur the line between real life and street life.
The Witcher (2019)
Now a cross-media phenomenon that has taken over the world, The Witcher features Geralt, a mutated monster hunter from the Polish literary and video game classic.
Though the beginning is a little boring, the climax certain won’t disappoint.
Forky Asks A Question
While Toy Story 4 introduced existentialism to the kid’s franchise. Forky Asks A Question is a show that goes all out and tackles mature topics such as time and the true meaning of art. Look no further for anything that’s more entertaining than this now.
The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)
Based on the 1985 novel name by famous Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood. It explores the totalitarian, the economic government of Gilead where power-hungry leaders control the society.
Better Call Saul (2015)
It is one of the most successful spin-offs in TV series history. Better Call Saul has taken a life on its own as a prequel to the seminal Breaking Bad. This courtroom thriller has all the makings of a great crime drama.
Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox brought over a plethora of great intellectual properties to Disney Plus, such as the iconic and sensational American cartoon, The Simpsons.
Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus: Top 3 Movies From Each Platform
Too Funny to Fail (2017)
This documentary tells the true story behind “The Dana Carvey Show”. It is an episode in comedy history that went on to create comedy legends such as Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert.
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Sony’s Spider-Man films had been lukewarm before the animated spider-verse burst into cinemas. It exceeded everyone’s expectations. This entry into the hallowed superhero franchise is a must-watch on Netflix.
This platform owns by Disney. Disney Plus is where you will find timeless Disney Classics. Classic such as the Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and other animated features. It is from yesteryears that turned Disney into a household name.
The Beatles: The Touring Years (2016)
This critically acclaimed documentary follows The Beatles at its peak. Before the four young men from Britain called it quits on performing for live audiences. It’s a must-watch for all Beatles fans and a fascinating look in the life for casual viewers.
The Irishman (2019)
Netflix snatched up some of the most critically acclaimed films of 2019, and one such film is The Irishman. Martin Scorsese’s latest instant classic has everything you’d expect from a Scorsese flick. It is an ensemble cast featuring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.
Star Wars Series
While The Mandalorian was the show that made people subscribe to Disney Plus, the Star Wars films are also on the streaming service. You can watch A New Hope and The Last Jedi right now. Star Wars movies that aren’t there yet are on their way to the platform.
Minding the Gap (2018)
Director Bing Liu compiles over 12 years of documentary footage. It tells a poignant coming of age story about young Americans growing up in Rockford, IL. It is as intimate and genuine of a film as the characters in it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Trentino turned heads and won prestigious awards for this comedy-drama. This film is about the heyday of Hollywood. The impeccable performances from superstars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. This is another mark on Netflix’s fantastic library.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Everybody knows Marvel, whether it’s Captian America or Iron Man. As the largest entries in the MCU are on Disney Plus. From the first Avengers all the way to Endgame, many of the standalone films of your favorite Marvel superhero. The most future Marvel films are bound to appear on Disney Plus.
Comparison of the Original Content
Almost all of the titles included above are exclusive to the respective platforms. Either originally produced or secured via exclusive viewing rights. The battle for original content is tight, with Disney Plus having the largest library that spans decades. The best 2D and 3D animated films in history have come from Disney, and you will find plenty of those on Disney Plus.
It has also made a string of large name acquisitions. Including entertainment giants Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 21st Century Fox. It ensures the Disney Plus library has a staggering amount of film and television shows available only for streaming on the platform.
It is not far behind, however, as the company has made significant investments to secure original content. The film rights for The Irishman was bought by Netflix for $105 million. While popular shows like The Witcher and Better Call Saul are under the Netflix Originals label.
Netflix also has big-name comedians on board, Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle headlining its comedy lineup. What Netflix lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Many films and TV series that captivated the zeitgeist came out first on Netflix, or are actually Netflix Originals.
It has had some major hits over the years. Hit such as the massively popular Seinfeld and the Emmy-winning original series The Handmaid’s Tale. Hulu’s Live TV is a unique selling proposition for the service, even though it may not have the same extensive content library as the other two.
The streaming service has had a few unfortunate mishaps as well. At some point, it had a five-year deal to stream all CW shows (like Supernatural, The Flash, and Arrow), but that contract had expired. Seinfeld has also since moved on. Regardless, Hulu is still the king of the next-day airing of network TV shows from Fox, NBC, and ABC. You can also get live sports only on Hulu via Live TV.
What are the features of each streaming service?
Aside from competing for the best movies and TV shows, Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus also continuously improve the technology of their platforms. As they try to one-up each other. These three have comparable features, but we will go into each category and see if we can help you find a clear winner.
How many devices do Hulu, Netflix & Disney Plus support?
Once you have picked a streaming service based on what you want to watch, you may wonder if it is available on your devices that you intend to stream on. Fortunately, all three understand the importance of being available on as many hardware platforms as possible, and each one boasts of an impressive list of supported devices.
All three are available on PC and laptops via their respective websites. On most other devices, such as phones, tablets, and streaming media devices, you can usually find an app for Hulu, Disney, and Netflix. If you need to know whether you can stream on the devices you own, you can try to find your device in the lists below.
Android (phones and tablets), Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Echo Show, Fire Tablet, Fire TV, iOS, Smart TVs, Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Apple TV, Chromecast, Smart TVs, PS3, PS4s, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Blu-ray players, Kindle Fire and Fire Tablet, Fire TV, Android (phones and tablets), iOS, Windows Phone
Android (phones and tablets), iOS, Fire Tablet, Smart TVs, Chromecast, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One
One caveat to the table above is that not all brands of smart TVs are supported by these streaming services. Netflix lists Hisense, LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba as supported brands of smart TVs.
Hulu is available on some Samsung TVs, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, and select models of LG TVs.
Disney Plus doesn’t have a list of supported smart TVs that is publicly available, but it is known to be available specifically on Sharp AQUOS, Sony Bravia, LG WebOS Smart TVs from 2016 or later, and Samsung Tizen Smart TVs.
To make sure you are able to stream on your smart TV, it is best to check on the support websites of these streaming services or contact their customer service.
How is Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus Apps Interface?
An important part of the user experience on any website or app is the user interface. Luckily, the three streaming services know this and are trying to one-up each other in the category as well. As such, it is a little difficult to differentiate the interfaces between Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus, but here are some highlights.
Netflix cares a lot about consistency across devices and it shows. Netflix looks almost identical on iPhone versus Xbox One, for example. The two versions even control the same – scroll up and down to see different categories, then left to right to view the movies or shows under that category. Hulu also works the same way, for almost every device you may have Hulu on.
Similarly, Disney Plus uses a lot of animated tiles in its apps. There is a “hero carousel” at the top of the page where you can tap or click on the icon of a category – typically by brand or franchise e.g. Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, etc. – then find movies and shows under that category. For example, to find The Mandalorian, you click on the Star Wars franchise tile then find the title you’re looking for below.
Hulu vs. Netflix vs. Disney Plus Watchlist
Each of the three streaming services has a watch list, where you can add titles for later viewing. On Netflix, it is called “My List” and you can add titles to your list from the main menu. “My List” shows up as one row among the other categories in the main menu. Meanwhile, you will find on one of the top rows your “Continue Watching” list, where you’ll find partially viewed movies or TV shows, and clicking will let you resume where you left off.
Its watchlist works very similarly to Netflix. There are a few aesthetic differences, and Hulu calls it “My Stuff” instead of Netflix’s watchlist moniker. Hulu also has a nice little menu where you can easily access a few featured categories such as “Hulu Picks” and “Live Now” for live TV shows, as well as a list of unwatched movies and shows in your “My Stuff.”
On Disney Plus, the watchlist is simply called “Watchlist.” There is another list you will probably use frequently – the “Continue Watching” list – which appears as a row of its own on the main screen and displays your most recently viewed titles. If you have started watching any of these titles, you will find a “resume” button that lets you continue watching from where you left off. This feature works across devices, meaning you can watch up to the middle of a Disney film on your smart TV, then continue where you left off on your mobile phone.
What is the audio and video quality?
Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus all stream up to 4K video. Netflix charges extra for this Ultra HD feature, while Hulu and Disney Plus stream 4K at their base costs. All three have 1080p quality streaming and perform identically as far as video quality goes.
When it comes to audio quality, the three sreaming services have standard 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround sound covered. What really stands out and where Netflix pulls ahead of its competitors is that some Netflix titles play 7.1 Dolby surrounds sound audio, while others even use Dolby Atmos.
|Surround Sound 5.1||✘||✘||✘|
|Surround Sound 7.1||✘|
Hulu vs. Netflix vs. Disney Plus Prices & Costs
These streaming services are similarly priced, but there are some significant differences that may affect which subscription you would like to avail of. One thing that is universal among the three is that there is currently no student discount for these three services.
Here is a breakdown of the prices for Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus.
Netflix Subscription Price
Netflix for standard definition (SD) viewing is $8.99 a month, limited to only streaming on one device at a time. This basic plan will stream at 420p and 576p resolutions even on HD-enabled devices.
The next step up costs $12.99 a month and gives you high definition (HD) streaming and up to two screens streaming at the same time. At this price point, Netflix shows and movies stream at 720p to 1080p resolutions. Considering that most modern TVs and screens display native HD, you will likely need the bump up to avoid poor picture quality.
Lastly, you can pay $15.99 a month for a Netflix subscription – this allows you up to four screens of simultaneous streaming, and unlocks the ability to watch select titles in Ultra HD or 4K.
Hulu Subscription Price
There are a few Hulu subscription plans that will mostly determine whether you can stream without any ads and if you will have access to on demand Live TV.
First, standalone and ad-supported Hulu costs $5.99 per month. This gives you access to the streaming of thousands of shows and movies from the Hulu library.
To stream on Hulu without the ads, you will have to subscribe for $11.99 per month. The increase in subscription fee gets you the same Hulu library access but without any ads.
Hulu + Live TV subscription is the plan for people who want Hulu streaming with on-demand live TV. The first week is free, so you can give it a go and see if the premium is worth it for you. Anything beyond the free first week will set you back $54.99 a month.
Finally, you can get ad-free Hulu bundled with Live TV for $60.99 per month. Hulu also offers a Live TV Only subscription for $53.99.
Disney Plus Subscription Price
Disney Plus has a very straightforward $6.99 per month subscription, or $69.99 per year ($5.83/month) for a small discount. Either subscription will let you stream Disney titles ad-free and in 4K for selected titles. There is no need to pay extra to stream on up to four different devices simultaneously.
If you would like both Disney AND Hulu, you can avail of the Disney Bundle – for $12.99 per month, you get a Disney Plus subscription and a basic ad-supported subscription of Hulu.
Hulu’s ad-supported and basic ad-free subscriptions have a 30-day free trial. You can also give the Hulu + Live TV a shot for a week without paying anything. Netflix offers a free month for all its payment plans. Meanwhile, you can try Disney Plus for free for 7 days before you start paying the subscription fee.
What is the best streaming site between Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus?
At the end of the day, your choice of which streaming site is the best will probably boil down to what you are planning to watch and what you usually enjoy. Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus have similar feature sets. They cost roughly the same and all stream up to 4K quality and 5.1 surround sound. The terms may differ a little, but all three streaming services allow simultaneous viewing on different devices with certain limits.
Where these three highly competitive streaming services can vary greatly is in what original and exclusive content they have on offer. With that said, we will look at the three video streaming platforms and try to find which one is the best for TV shows, and which one trumps others with its movie selection.
Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus TV Shows
If you are wondering which is the best for TV shows, only Hulu offers an on-demand Live TV service, so you may want to check what channels Hulu has and see if Hulu Live TV can replace your cable set-top box. Among Hulu’s claims to fame are the seminal American comedy show Seinfeld and its creator Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. More recently, The Handmaid’s Tale based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel is giving many people a reason to go on Hulu.
Meanwhile, Netflix has established itself as a powerhouse for binge-worthy series, often releasing all the episodes of a show at the same time. Without missing a beat, Netflix keeps on coming out with blockbuster series one after another, such as House of Cards, Daredevil, 13 Reasons Why, Narcos, Ozark, The Witcher, and many more.
Disney is an entertainment giant and that almost automatically makes Disney Plus a powerhouse for TV shows. The Mandalorian turned heads and instantly turned the streaming service into a household name. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, X-men: The Animated Series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and many other Disney television shows are sure to attract audiences to Disney Plus.
Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus Movies
One of the best things about streaming services is that we can catch up with movies that we may have missed and sometimes after waiting only a few months, and without the need for any media player. In some cases, the streaming companies themselves invest in the production of new films for exclusive streaming rights, a practice that brought us 2019’s award-winning critically acclaimed classics such as The Two Popes and The Irishman.
As far as which is the best for movies among the three streaming services we have discussed, Disney Plus may have an edge in terms of having titles that sold hundreds of millions of movie tickets worldwide. Disney draws from its unparalleled legacy and expansive library of intellectual properties – Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel Cinematic Universe films all find a home in Disney Plus. Many of the highest-grossing films in history are on Disney Plus or owned by Disney, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Infinity War, The Lion King, The Avengers, Frozen 2, and many more.
It has no slouch, however, as the company has been aggressively funding films for exclusivity, whether it’s a third-party production or a Netflix Original. Recent Netflix films have made the rounds in the film awards circuit – the Academy Awards, Critics Choice Movie Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Hollywood Film Awards all nominated and recognized the best Netflix movies.
It has some iconic shows and on-demand live TV, but it’s not usually the place to be for the latest and the biggest films. That isn’t to say Hulu isn’t trying – Hulu managed to acquire the rights to stream the sensational Korean thriller Parasite, the Best Picture winner at the 92nd Academy Awards. Hulu also has great documentaries you may have missed, like the subliminal Jiro Dreams of Sushi and the charming coming of age story Minding the Gap.
Conclusion: We’re the real winners in Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus
Hulu vs Netflix vs Disney Plus, all have great things to offer. Netflix is currently on top of its competitors in the streaming service space in terms of global reach. Netflix has come out with incredible series and films in its Netflix Originals line that are sure to stand the test of time. Hulu has some shows you might want to binge and uniquely provides on-demand Live TV. If you want to live sports to come with your online video streaming subscription, Hulu is for you. Meanwhile, Disney is a world leader in entertainment and has all the biggest and iconic franchises on Disney Plus. Some of the best selling movies in history are either on Disney Plus or will be, and you can watch them all in the comforts of your home for a small monthly fee.
For an ideal streaming experience, we can only recommend trying all three. Each one has something good to offer, easy-to-use navigation and interfaces, support for a wide variety of devices, and a steady stream of new content that score well both with the critics and the viewers at large. If you can only have one subscription, then we hope that this extensive analysis of Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus provides you with enough information to decide which streaming service is right for you.