People have been talking about cutting cable for years now. The trend started picking up as streaming services began to mature and methods for watching TV without cable services got easier, whether it was via a game console or the early versions of Roku and Apple TV. But for all of the talk of Netflix as some sort of indicator of cord cutting (which we never bought in to) it turns out, to no surprise, that Hulu is service that is most indicative of a person’s interest in dropping cable.
Why is there such a variance?
People who have been paying attention to cord cutting realize that while it has been gradually growing, there has hardly been a full avalanche of cable and pay TV cancellations. Netflix has over 100 million subscribers. If 100 million people had canceled cable the industry would be done already. Why can Netflix have the numbers that it does without crushing the cable industry? Because it is not a replacement, it is a complement. Reed Hastings has always promoted Netflix like an Internet-based premium network like HBO. Its original programming isn’t designed to replace cable, and neither is the network content that can be found on the service.
Hulu on the other hand and we are referring to the standard on-demand service, not the live TV service, provides easy access to a number of popular major network TV shows and specials along with many cable TV shows between 8 hours and 24 hours of their airing on TV. This means that someone with Hulu can easily keep up with many of their favorite shows throughout a season and not be left out of the conversation when it comes up online or out and about. Using Hulu, is not much different than using a DVR to watch everything. The difference, of course, is that Hulu’s standard 7.99 service does not feature live TV.
Hulu has also made a bigger investment in major movie content bringing popular titles to its service in a major departure from its earlier strategy on movies which centered around the Criterion Collection and lesser known independent titles.
Does Hulu have everything from cable?
No not even close. It doesn’t even have every major network show. CBS does not license its content to Hulu on a first run basis, though it has a great deal of archived content on the service. CBS instead puts its most current content on the CBS all-access app. Its sister channel, the CW pulled its content from Hulu last year in favor of the free CW app which is now the home of all of its shows during the season.
And while Hulu has a great deal of content from a number of cable channels it does not have every show on the air at any given time. You would have to check the service out for yourself to determine whether the shows you can’t live without are available.