Within the ranks of streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus, Hulu has carved out a space of its own with thousands of popular movies and TV shows you can binge to your heart’s content!
You may be wondering whether it’s possible (or permitted) to share Hulu with your friends.
Will your account get banned? What if your friends unintentionally start messing up your recommendations? And more seriously: what if it leads to a security breach, compromising your other accounts?
Today, this guide will answer all your burning questions about Hulu’s account sharing capabilities. We’ll explore:
- Hulu’s account sharing policies, and whether you can freely share your account with friends
- The different subscription tiers Hulu offers, and what key differences they have in terms of account sharing
- Potential risks you have to consider when thinking about sharing your account
- A safe way to enjoy Hulu with friends: Hulu Watch Party.
Let’s dive right into it!
Can You Share Hulu with Friends?
If you have a Hulu account and are wondering whether you can let your friends use it, the simple answer is yes!
Unlike other streaming services like Netflix which have introduced password-sharing controls, Hulu’s Basic Plan gives you the power to share your account with people outside of your household.
The only limit is the number of screens you can simultaneously watch on.
However, note that if you have a Hulu + Live TV Plan, you won’t be able to share your account due to restrictions around live TV.
This plan requires you to establish a “Home Network” that you must connect to every 30 days – so unfortunately, it’s not possible to share the account outside your household or use it if you’re traveling.
Hulu’s Terms of Service (TOS) Overview
When you register an account with Hulu, you’ll need to agree to their Terms of Service (TOS).
The agreement is pretty straightforward, but it does have some interesting things to say about their account-sharing policy (you can find the TOS here).
Section 1b states that the owner of the account is responsible for the security of the username and password.
However, if any other individuals use the account, they’re still required to follow the TOS; otherwise, the account may get banned. This rule applies regardless of whether it was the owner of the account who broke the agreement.
So, essentially: password-sharing isn’t against the TOS! The owner of the account can share the password with others, but the owner is responsible for making sure that these people also abide by the TOS.
Sounds simple enough, so let’s get into the different types of subscriptions!
Hulu’s Subscription Tiers and Account-Sharing Policies
Hulu boasts three base plans for you to choose from, depending on what you need from the service and how much your budget is. Let’s check them out!
The ad-supported Hulu plan costs $7.99/month and provides access to their ad-supported streaming library.
As of writing, you can share your account password with someone who doesn’t live in your household without the risk of your account becoming banned.
The only limitation is that you can only watch on two screens simultaneously.
Hulu (No Ads)
This plan will set you back $14.99/month, but it does have the added perk of letting you watch ad-free.
Like the Basic plan, you’re also allowed to share your account with users outside your household without the risk of your account being banned.
Again, the limitation is that you can only have two screens watching simultaneously.
Hulu + Live TV
The Hulu + Live TV plan is currently the most expensive base plan on offer. It gives you access to everything in the Hulu streaming library, as well as 85+ live TV channels based on your location.
There are two subscription tiers here: one with ads ($69.99/month) and one without ($82.99/month). This plan has a special caveat, though — you must link your account to a Home Network within 30 days of purchase.
Wait, what happens when you move out and change networks? Hulu has you covered — you’re free to change your Home Network for up to four times a year.
Unlike the Basic Hulu plans, this plan has more restrictions around account sharing, which is largely because it includes live TV broadcasted in your area. Given the regional restrictions, you can’t share the account with someone outside your home!
That also means that if you’re traveling, you’ll have to connect to your Home Network at least once every 30 days. If you don’t, your access will be revoked!
Another drawback with this top plan is that you can only watch simultaneously on two screens.
If you have a particularly large household or are sharing with multiple roommates, you’ll need to purchase the Unlimited Screens add-on, which will set you back by an additional $9.99 a month — ouch!
If you can afford it, however, Hulu allows you to watch on as many screens as you want – as long as these are all connected to your Home Network!
Potential Risks of Sharing Your Hulu Account Password
Breach of Terms of Service
Isn’t sharing passwords perfectly okay according to the TOS? Yes, but there are plenty of caveats with this privilege.
While sharing account passwords isn’t a bannable offense by itself, the actions of the people who also have access to your account can very well put it at risk!
That’s why as the account owner, you still need to keep a close eye on what other people do on your account.
Remember, the TOS is clear on this point; anyone with access to your account is still liable to the TOS, and any violation can potentially ban your account.
This is also another major risk for you to keep in mind before sharing your password! If you do so, you might be unintentionally sharing personal information with other people, whether that’s card details or billing addresses.
If you’re also one of those internet users who love to reuse passwords across different platforms, giving someone access to your Hulu account is practically handing them the keys to your house!
To prevent these negative effects, make sure to share your passwords only with the people you trust.
Even then, it’s good practice to create a unique, Hulu-only password; if your account gets hacked, your other online accounts will remain safe.
Risk of Account Takeover
It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but sometimes people you trust can have hidden intentions!
When you’re sharing your Hulu password (or even any other account, for that matter), it’s important to keep the risk of account takeover in mind.
For example, if you don’t put up enough safeguards, someone can easily change your password, set up new trusted devices, and more.
While there are ways to recover your account, it’s a lot less of a headache if you remain careful with who you trust first.
In the event that someone jeopardizes your account, you can find account recovery support here.
Overloading the Account’s Simultaneous Stream Limit
There’s no limit to the number of devices that can have Hulu downloaded, but remember that there is a limit on the number of simultaneous streams.
On any Base plan, you can only watch Hulu on a maximum of two separate screens — if you try using a third, an error message will pop up.
This won’t be that much of an issue if only two people are using your account, but could be an issue if there are more.
Differing Viewing Habits Affecting Recommendations
Streaming apps depend a lot on your viewing habits to provide you with new recommendations — and having more people around can seriously mess with the algorithm.
You could be a hopeless romantic at heart, but having other people with access to your account could mean adrenaline-pumping movies or creepy horrors begin crowding out your recommendations.
One solution to this is to create different profiles on your account, so you can save the stuff you actually want to see. At the very least, it means you won’t lose your viewing progress if your friend decides to watch the same show.
Are There Other Ways to Watch with Friends on Hulu?
Hulu Watch Party
Fortunately, Hulu isn’t too fussy about letting you watch shows with your friends — and all it takes is for everyone to gather together for a virtual Hulu Watch Party.
The only requirement is that other participants are also Hulu subscribers; even individual profiles on your account can join in on the fun.
With this feature, you can have up to eight people watching from different locations. There’s even a group chat for everyone to showcase their most authentic, real-time reactions to any jaw-dropping plot twists.
How Do I Share Hulu with Friends?
After giving it some thought, you’ve decided to share your Hulu account with friends. It’s actually pretty easy to do so!
If you’re using a base plan (other than Hulu + Live TV), simply give your login credentials to your friends.
Just make sure your friends keep your credentials under lock and key and won’t give them away to other people without your permission.
For friends who are using the same House Network (maybe you’re all roommates), a Hulu + Live TV can quickly become an appealing option.
As a plus, you won’t have to worry about physically gathering everyone once a month just to guarantee their continued access.
In either case, you need to remember two things: one, that you have a simultaneous screen limit to keep an eye on, and two, the account owner is ultimately responsible for any violations of Hulu’s TOS.
With that out of the way, enjoy your Hulu subscription alongside your friends.
Hulu is quite a generous streaming platform in that it won’t ban your account if you share your password with others.
As long as you’re mindful of who you share your password with, the number of people watching at the same time, and the Hulu TOS, you shouldn’t run into any problems.