Stop by Red or Go to Green? Netflix vs. Hulu

By Lismery Luna

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Liz Luna, Contributing Writer

Streaming services cater to three things: price, content, and viewership. These services are also attractive to college students because they can choose which plan best fits their needs.

As an avid user of social media, I try to find ways to watch certain TV shows and movies without downloading malware or spam. Deciding on which to use can be difficult for a college student on a budget, so free trials are the best deciding factor.

Most students can sign up with services like Netflix or Hulu and do a “try before you buy” situation. This allows those who have never used these services to see if they want to commit to a subscription service of $7 to $9 per month.

However, with each streaming service, a user might pay less per month but deal with advertisements after commercial breaks.

For example, Netflix has no ads for all its content, but it doesn’t come in a student bundle like Hulu for a fraction of the price. Another factor students need to consider is that both Netflix and Hulu customize a user’s preferences, meaning that anyone with an account can watch what they want and programs alike. Netflix and Hulu can also be viewed on any device where the user has an account.

On the other hand, Netflix offers notifications, where users can see what programs the service recommends and find different programs that they might enjoy.

Hulu does not offer those services, but provides recommendations when the app is open.

One significant difference is that Netflix doesn’t have every season for current shows. Unlike with Hulu, a user cannot watch programs as they happen with Live Watch.

Yet, both streaming services allow users of their plans to binge-watch TV shows. This is preferable for college students because they could use shows as background noise or while doing school work.

Both services have their benefits and drawbacks, but as a first-time consumer, I was able to understand and use Netflix’s full service without feeling pressured into watching all the shows Hulu recommended with the shows I wanted to view.

Netflix is easier to understand, has no advertisements and the recommendations make sense to a user who is watching.

In contrast, Hulu has lower prices, live TV and more programs with current seasons in its archive.

These two streaming services compete to be the best, but unfortunately for Hulu, most people prefer Netflix.

Using both services for the first time, however, it’s hard to decide which one I’m canceling the trial for.