Netflix vs Hulu+

I recently came across this short post by Brad Gessler, describing why he likes Hulu+ over Netflix.

"The problem with Netflix is that lack of regularly published content. I could subscribe to Netflix streaming services once every six months, watch all of the new stuff for a month, drop the subscription, and not miss a beat."

This ties into my recent post about streaming services vs cable TV. In that post, I talked about how I'm subscribed to both Netflix and Hulu+, but didn't really discuss why, so here goes.

I don't actually see either service as being better than the other, because they serve different purposes for me. Hulu+ is fantastic for watching up-to-date episodes of my favorite TV series, while Netflix is better for watching movies, especially documentaries. I'm pretty sure I've watched more documentaries as a Netflix user than I have for the rest of my life combined. Same goes for indie films.

With Hulu+, although they are very good about having the most recent episodes of a given show, their shows often don't go all the way back to season one. It's not uncommon to come across a show that only starts at season three or something similar. In most cases, those same shows happen to be on Netflix and do go back to season one, so I can typically make it as far as Netflix allows and then switch over to Hulu+ to watch the rest and get caught up. It's a messy system but it works.

Both services have the more popular kids shows, but this is definitely an area where Netflix excels, due to its "Just For Kids" section. Whenever we boot Netflix up on the PS3 to put a show on for Brendon (Blue's Clues, Super Why, etc) we can immediately switch over to the kids section and know that if he somehow gets his hands on the controller, he's not going to suddenly find himself watching a violent action movie.

The point of all this is to say that I see the services as supplemental to one another, not conflicting. They both have their pros and cons.

If Netflix could get the kinds of TV content deals that Hulu+ has, or if Hulu+ got rid of its interstitial ads and added all the older content Netflix carries, then I could see switching wholly to one service. Until then, I'm happy to keep both around. Even combined, they still don't cost as much as a cable TV package so I'm happy.