Netflix’s Worst Nightmare

Should Netflix be worried about Hulu’s increasing popularity?

Who will win the fight between the greatest two streaming services? Can Netflix continue its reign? Or will Hulu make a surprising upset? Image provided by

Egan Beauvais, Staff Writer

First of all, let’s take a moment to thank that one kind person who actually pays for Netflix, or Hulu, or possibly even both, allowing for us to be able binge watch all of our favorite shows and become addicted to our TVs. Can anyone imagine a world where you could not simply watch four seasons of a show in a span of a week, or for many, even less? Television streaming services have revolutionized the way the world has access to entertainment, and with so many of them out there, it is hard to imagine a show that is not available. However, it is becoming increasingly common to find shows that are exclusive to only one streaming service, leading most services to try to gain big shows that will sway over customers to watch their content. This, as well as price and readiness of access to new episodes, creates a clear better and worse service. Hulu and Netflix are the most popular streaming services, creating much debate as to which is actually better. Netflix has almost always been considered the far superior choice, but due to many recent show departures from Netflix and other great qualities about Hulu, it has become a much closer race.
Netflix has been home to almost all the great shows in the last couple decades, also with a huge collection of movies, documentaries, and exclusives. Starting at $7.99 a month, and with the most popular package being $10.99 a month, which allows for two screens at once, it is actually very reasonably priced. Shows such as House of Cards, The Office, Parks and Recreation, Friends, The 100, and Supernatural all attract a huge audience, securing Netflix’s popularity. However, it is the Netflix Originals that truly keep it above its competitors. Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Luke Cage, Orange is the New Black, Fuller House, and Ozark, are some of the many exclusive shows that have blown up all social media outlets and kept Netflix seemingly above Hulu. However, Netflix has had some troubles. Many popular shows have been booted off Netflix, and then in turn went to Hulu. 30 Rock, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, are all shows that have departed Netflix and ended up on Hulu. While these shows are very popular, most people are not going to switch over to Hulu simply because of them, but if this trend continues, it could happen. Also, while not confirmed, there are rumors of more shows leaving Netflix soon, with The Office being one of them, which would cause an uproar in the Netflix community.
On the other hand, Hulu is very similar to Netflix with a few different features. The basic package costs $7.99 but has some limited ads, while the $11.99 package is the same as the $10.99 Netflix deal. In the case, Netflix’s pricing is better than Hulu’s, but the content is much different. With a large number of new shows entering Hulu’s library due to Netflix’s lack of show renewals, Hulu is becoming increasingly popular with the die-hard fans of those shows. Also, with many exclusive shows as well, Hulu has a large draw from an audience Netflix does not have. The best part of Hulu is its ability to get new episodes onto their service much faster than Netflix. A deal with ABC, NBC, and Fox allows for new episodes to be uploaded the day after the episode airs on regular TV. The Bachelor shows, America’s Got Talent, and Marvels: Agents of Shield are just a few of the shows that users of Hulu can watch new episodes the day after live airing. This is probably the best perk of Hulu, as Netflix normally waits until after an entire season is over to bring the new episodes to Netflix. Lastly, while Netflix’s originals are much more popular than Hulu’s, The Handmaid’s Tale, a Hulu original, has become extremely popular, showing that Hulu can compete.
With Netflix slowly losing shows, and Hulu on the rise, I predict Hulu to eventually surpass in quality, while Netflix, I believe, will always reign in popularity. The best case-scenario, though, is to leech off two people and live in luxury watching all of the possible shows you could ever want to watch.