- Hulu Premium is Hulu’s ad-free version of its streaming service for $11.99 a month.
- You’ll gain access to all of Hulu’s programming including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “Saturday Night Live.”
- If you’d rather save some money in exchange for watching ads, Hulu Basic is available for $5.99 a month.
Hulu was one of the last streaming services I subscribed to, but now it’s easily the one I watch the most. The turning point for me was back in 2017 when news broke that “30 Rock” would be leaving Netflix and moving to Hulu. “30 Rock” is one of those shows that can play reliably in the background of anything I’m doing, providing just the right amount of familiar entertainment while not being too distracting. I didn’t know how I was going to live without it. So I took the plunge and signed up for Hulu. I gave the Basic subscription – the version that serves you ads – a shot for a while, but I had grown so used to streaming ad-free that I quickly found it worth the couple extra bucks a month for the Premium, ad-free version.
Once I got my foot in the door, I found that there was so much programming on Hulu that I was missing out on. Plus, I could keep up with my favorite shows that were currently on the air like “Brooklyn 99,” “The Good Place,” and “Saturday Night Live” without having to wait a year or more for a full season to be available like I would on Netflix.
What is Hulu Premium?
Hulu Premium is the company’s ad-free streaming service. For $11.99 a month, you’ll get access to their entire catalog that you can binge without the inconvenience of commercials.
Hulu offers a wide variety of content including their original programming like “The Handmaids Tale,” “PEN15,” and “Difficult People;” animated favorites like “Rick and Morty,” “Futurama,” and “The Simpsons;” guilty pleasures like The Real Housewives franchise; and classic sitcoms like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Seinfeld,” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
In a huge advantage over Netflix, Hulu also offers you the opportunity to keep up with your favorite shows as they air.
No more waiting over a year for an entire season to wrap up and then be released to streaming platforms. With Hulu, shows such as “The Good Place,” “Brooklyn 99,” and “Saturday Night Live” are available to stream as soon as 24 hours after their air live. This way, you’ll only have to avoid spoilers for a short day rather than be stuck in limbo indefinitely.
What’s the difference between Hulu Premium and Hulu Basic? Which one should I get?
Hulu Premium is, in most experiences, completely uninterrupted and ad-free. Due to a streaming agreement, there’s a small exception. Just three shows – “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” and “How To Get Away With Murder” – will play short ads before and after the episodes, but will still play uninterrupted during their stream. Other than that, you will never see an ad on Hulu Premium.
Hulu Basic, on the other hand, serves you unskippable ads before and during your stream. A 30-minute show will often play one ad beforehand and will have two ad breaks during the show, amounting to roughly 5 minutes of total ad time. An hour-long show will have an ad at the beginning and an average of five ad breaks per show, amounting to about 10 minutes of ad time.
It’s still less overall ad time than you’d be watching on cable, but your shows and movies will be interrupted every 10 to 12 minutes, putting a real wrench into your streaming flow. For just a few more bucks a month, you can escape the tyranny of ads altogether, giving you completely uninterrupted access to all your favorite content.
Both Premium and Basic get access to Hulu’s entire content catalog. Whether you choose Basic or premium is entirely up to whether you can tolerate being interrupted by ads. If you’d prefer a seamless streaming experience, Hulu Premium is well worth it. I personally pay for the Premium version of Hulu because I’ve grown so used to ad-free streaming that I can’t go back to being interrupted by ads, even if it saves me a bit of cash.
The convenience and user friendliness of the ad-free service more than makes up for the difference in price.
How can I stream Hulu?
If you have a smart TV, all you’ll need to do to access Hulu is launch the pre-installed app and log into your account to start streaming immediately. If you’re looking to upgrade, check out our guide to the best 4K Smart TVs on the market. We recommend the LG C8 as having the best value for your money.
You can also access the Hulu app through streaming boxes and sticks from Roku, Apple, or Amazon. Each one gives you access to tons of streaming apps, including Hulu. Of course, you can always stream Hulu on your laptop or phone without any additional devices or plugins.