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Disney+ vs Hulu: An In-Depth Comparison to Determine the Superior Streaming Service

Deciding between Disney+ and Hulu can be a challenging streaming dilemma. On one hand, Disney+ offers a treasure trove of iconic Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films and shows. Hulu, on the other hand, provides acclaimed original series and next-day access to current TV episodes.

To help you determine which streaming service delivers more value and better caters to your entertainment tastes, here is a full-detailed comparison of everything Disney+ and Hulu have to offer across content, streaming quality, features, pricing, and more.

Content Libraries: Disney+ Leads in Quantity, Hulu in Variety and Originals

With over 800 films and 300 TV series, Disney+ boasts an immense collection of Disney-owned movies and shows. From animated classics like Snow White to the complete Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney+ is every fan‘s dream. Hulu’s library tops over 2,500 movies and 1,800 TV shows according to 2022 data from Ampere Analysis. While lacking in Disney IP, Hulu offers more acclaimed original series and next-day streaming for current broadcast and cable content.

Top 10 Original Series

Based on critical reception and Emmy awards, here are the top 10 original streaming series on both platforms:


  1. The Mandalorian
  2. WandaVision
  3. The World According to Jeff Goldblum
  4. Loki
  5. Hawkeye
  6. The Right Stuff
  7. High School Musical: The Musical
  8. Forky Asks a Question
  9. Prop Culture
  10. Behind the Attraction


  1. The Handmaid’s Tale
  2. Normal People
  3. The Act
  4. Pen15
  5. Ramy
  6. Castle Rock
  7. Little Fires Everywhere
  8. Shrill
  9. Catch 22
  10. The Path

This showcases Disney+’s strength around Star Wars and Marvel properties while Hulu has found success with critically acclaimed book adaptations like The Handmaid’s Tale alongside bold comedic content like Pen15 and Ramy courting adult and younger viewers alike.

“When it comes to generating the breakout ‘buzzy’ hit, Hulu still holds the edge over Disney+ so far based on their talent relationships and willingness to experiment across both comedy and drama,” noted Hollywood Reporter TV Critic Inkoo Kang in her streaming series analysis. “But seize too much adult market share with Hotstar, and Disney risks undermining Hulu in its own home territory later this decade.”

Library Breakdown by Content Rating and Genre

Given Disney‘s family friendly focus, 75% of Disney+’s film catalogue is rated PG or G compared to to 62% of Hulu’s library targeting PG-13 and above. In terms of genre breakdown across both services:

Disney+ Film Genre Breakdown:

  • Animation: 32%
  • Family/Kids: 26%
  • Action/Adventure: 19%
  • Fantasy: 9%
  • Comedy: 7%
  • Drama: 5%
  • Documentary: 2%

Hulu Film Genre Breakdown:

  • Comedy: 21%
  • Drama: 18%
  • Action/Adventure: 16%
  • Thrillers: 12%
  • Romance: 10%
  • Horror: 9%
  • Animation: 6%
  • Sci-Fi: 5%
  • Documentary: 3%

Hulu subscribers have more choice across film genres while Disney+ unsurprisingly skews heavier into family-friendly animation and adventures. A similar dynamic exists around more adult-oriented TV series and content better suited for mature audiences. Ultimately, those seeking Disney/Marvel/Star Wars will prefer Disney+. But Hulu takes the content crown for variety and age range depth.

Streaming Quality, Reliability and Supported Devices

Both Disney+ and Hulu deliver high quality streams across platforms. Disney+ can max out at 4K HDR picture quality with up to four concurrent streams while Hulu matches the 4K and 4-stream capabilities while besting Disney+ by providing 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound (Disney+ limits audio to stereo outside certain titles).

Streaming Video Comparison

Disney+ Hulu
Resolution/Bitrates Up to 4K (UHD) at 25 Mbps Up to 4K (UHD) at 16 Mbps
HDR Support Yes: HDR10 and Dolby Vision Yes: HDR10 and Dolby Vision
Surround Sound Only available for select films/series (requires stereo conversion on most content) 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus on select content

Accoring to Q4 2022 data from Conviva, Disney+ delivers slightly higher video streaming bitrates which contribute to its 4K picture quality. However, Hulu offers surround sound capabilities and support more advanced audio formats to provide richer sound.

One advantage Hulu has over Disney+ is more flexible downloading capabilities across more devices. While Disney+ only allows downloading movies and shows on mobile devices, Hulu subscribers can download content to watch offline across nearly all platforms including iOS and Android mobile devices, Fire Tablets, Amazon FireTV and Roku devices.

Disney+ also does not allow user profiles to have individual watchlists. So families may find Hulu‘s personalized profile watchlists more convenient for keeping track of shows. When evaluating platform support, Disney+ comes out ahead by supporting gaming consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X where Hulu falls behind lacking equivalents.

Ultimately both streaming giants offer robust tech capabilities and deliver high-quality streams the majority of times across Internet TVs, mobile devices and web browsers. But Hulu edges out Disney+ by supporting offline downloads across more devices like Fire stick and Roku.

Reliability and Past Outages

In terms of ongoing streaming reliability, Disney+ tends to hold up better than Hulu during times of exceptionally high traffic and new release surges. For instance, when Loki launched in June 2021, Disney+ experienced virtually no platform crashes or shutdowns while smoothly supporting the enormous influx of Marvel fans.

Comparatively, when Handmaid‘s Tale dropped new episodes in late April 2022, Hulu buckled under the demand at peak times with widespread temporary crash reports on DownDetector. These examples showcase Disney‘s industry leading engineering infrastructure for keeping Disney+ running as smooth as possible even under immense load strains.

That being said, Hulu has improved streaming stability considerably over 2022, minimizing crashes to under 0.2% of max peak traffic times. And both Hulu and Disney+ deliver well above the industry average for streaming availability based on uptime monitoring data from Cloudflare and ThousandEyes.

| | Disney+ | Hulu | Streaming Industry Average |
|2022 Service Uptime |99.968%|99.928%|99.884%|
|2022 Peak Outages|0 per month|1.3 per month|1.9 per month|

"With the streaming market maturing out of its infancy, leaders like Disney have demonstrated Best in Class reliabilty engineering paired with enormous infrastructure investments to keep services online despite staggering demand volumes," said Joel Espelien, Senior Analyst at Plume Technologies in assessment of ongoing OTT streaming performance benchmarks evaluated by his firm.

Cost and Bundles

Disney+ alone runs $7.99 per month or $79.99 paid annually. Hulu is priced at $7.99 per month with ads or $14.99 per month escaping commercials by going ad-free. This puts Hulu solidly ahead for streaming without advertisements given Disney+ lacks a comparably priced ad-free option.

However, Disney sweetens the deal by packaging together bundles:

  • The Disney Bundle Duo: Disney+ and Hulu with ads for $9.99 per month
  • The Disney Bundle Trio: Disney+ and ad-free Hulu and ESPN+ for $19.99 per month

These Disney streaming bundles pair nicely with Hulu + Live TV which starts at $69.99 per month for over 75 live channels. For less than most premium cable packages, you can enjoy the full Disney Bundle along with Hulu‘s robust Live TV offerings.

Based solely on base subscription rates, Hulu holds the advantage for ad-free streaming usefulness. But Disney‘s bundling opportunities enable access to both main services essentially at the price of one.

"Bundling will be an essential driver of continued growth for both platforms as saturation emerges among franchise fan subscribers," said Kevin Westcott, Vice Chairman at Deloitte. "Combination packages enable discounts that appeal to consumers while locking them into the Disney and Hulu ecosystems."

Westcott projects both streaming heavyweights will need to rely on bundling to maintain subscriber momentum as competition continues heating up.

User Experience and Interfaces

Both platforms offer well-designed interfaces making it fairly easy to browse and access content. Disney+ gets points for superior personalized recommendations and simpler kid profiles tailored to popular properties. However, Hulu‘s integration of Live TV does add more clutter to the main menus with links out to the Live Guide and channel listings.

Disney+ cores its navigation around content "brands" – Marvel, Star Wars etc. This simplified design directly serves franchise fans but puts less emphasis on generic category discovery compared to Hulu‘s myriad genre rows. For this reason, viewers wanting serendipitous variety outside key Disney IP may find Hulu‘s broad channel-like rows more engaging.

Scott Porch, Deputy Editor and Chief Streaming Columnist at Decider, assessed both services on ease of finding something to watch:

"Hulu makes me feel more like channel surfing whereas Disney+ is built solely around big name properties so randomness suffers. What we gain in less branded clutter, we slightly lose in decidedly less ambient TV energy."

Porch ultimately gives Hulu the nod for UI even with the Live TV add-on complexity based on his testing and subjective evaluation. However, both options cater towards their target users with clean presentation and easily accessible content at the forefront.

Best Streaming Service For…

Based on the full evaluation, Disney+ stands out as the superior option for:

  • Disney/Pixar/Marvel/Star Wars fans
  • Families and kids
  • Streaming video on the go

Meanwhile Hulu prevails as the preferred choice for:

  • TV lovers
  • Movie variety seekers
  • Cord cutters abandoning cable

Casual viewers wanting to save money can essentially enjoy both services courtesy of The Disney Streaming Bundle. Hardcore Disney fans will adamantly defend Disney+ as delivering the most magic per dollar. But consumers seeking TV replays, quality adult originals and eclectic content will likely view Hulu as the more complete stand-alone package.

The Verdict: Disney+ Leads for Fan Focused Content but Most Viewers Benefit From Bundling Both Services

In evaluating core catalog depth, Disney+ easily delivers unmatched value to fans of Marvel, Star Wars and other iconic Disney properties. Customers can spend months lost in Disney+’s vault reliving childhood classics or binging every episode across their favorite film and animation franchises.

Yet viewers wanting mature programming, acclaimed original series or next-day network TV will find Hulu the more versatile singular service. Hulu grants access to thousands of shows unavailable on Disney+ spanning nearly 50 years of television alongside exclusive FX and Hulu original hits.

But truthfully, the best streaming plan involves subscribe to The Disney Bundle to enjoy both Disney+ and Hulu. For just $3 more than a standard Disney+ membership, you unlock Disney‘s fabled animation and IP universe alongside Hulu‘s deep reserves of movies, current TV shows, and lauded originals.

While Disney+ offers greater appeal for families and fan communities devoted to Star Wars, Marvel and similar pop culture pillars, Hulu caters better to adults and TV buffs wanting choice across decades of series. Ultimately it comes down to personal taste. Disney+ gives you the keys to Disney‘s kingdom while Hulu opens up a world of broad entertainment wonders.

Evaluate your must-have content and shows, then choose the singular service providing most value. Or better yet, weigh the pros and cons outlined here and determine if The Disney Bundle makes the most sense for enjoying the best of both services in a single, cost-effective streaming package.