Hulu & Spotify Reveal How Many People Pay to Subscribe

Hulu & Spotify Reveal How Many People Pay to Subscribe

Hulu and Spotify, streaming services that have begun offering bundles of their two services, have both revealed how many subscribers they have.

Hulu, the popular video streaming service, announced on Wednesday that they had more than 20 million subscribers, according to CNN Money. These numbers aren’t as high as Netflix’s, as CNN Money notes that Netflix has about 55 million subscribers in the United States. But the numbers still suggest Hulu is a decent competitor when it comes to the video streaming game.

They could also potentially gain more subscribers, as well, as some announced changes certainly seem enticing. Hulu, like Netflix, already has some of their own original programming (like the popular Handmaid’s Tale). Until now, though, Netflix offered something Hulu didn’t: offline watching. Hulu now plans to make content available to download and watch offline, says CNN Money. The content would still play with ads, but an internet connection wouldn’t be necessary.

Spotify announced their own numbers on Thursday. Spotify is a popular music streaming service that offers paid and free accounts. According to TechSpot, Spotify now has 75 million paid subscribers to their service, and the number of people who use the service every month is also huge: 170 million. And as TechSpot also mentions, Spotify’s 75 million paid subscribers is far above Apple Music’s 40 million. This only further cements Spotify as the major competitor in the music streaming arena.

Hulu and Spotify both offer their own separate subscriptions, but over the past months they’ve begun offering bundles, as well. Last year they began offering a student plan that bundled the two services for only $4.99 a month. And just last month, a bundle was announced for everyone else that would offer both services for just $12.99, which is higher than the student price but still a significantly less expensive option.

You Can Bundle Spotify & Hulu (Plus HBO on Hulu Price Dropped)

You Can Bundle Spotify & Hulu (Plus HBO on Hulu Price Dropped)

Music and TV lovers, good news! You can now bundle Hulu and Spotify and save some money.

Currently only available to Spotify Premium subscribers, you can currently try Hulu for only 99 cents a month, says TechCrunch, and after this three month trial, you will be able to get both Hulu and Spotify for a combined total of only $12.99. This saves about 5 dollars a month on the popular streaming services.

The bundled Hulu subscription will be the version of Hulu with ads, but this is still a great deal and good news for people who already use one or both of the services anyway. And if you don’t currently use either one, this summer you’ll get a chance to start trying them both for quite a bit less than before.

A Spotify and Hulu bundle is certainly not a new concept. As I wrote last year, the Spotify Student Hulu Bundle became available for students. This bundle gives students both Spotify and Hulu (with ads) for only $4.99 a month and is available right now. Students simply have to follow the verification process to prove they’re currently enrolled in an institution.

Of course, $12.99 is a bit more than what students pay. But it still saves a decent amount of money. According to TechCrunch, the deal will be available to everyone in the summer. For now, if you have Spotify Premium, you can head to their page and add Hulu for an additional 99 cents during your three-month trial.

And for those of you using Hulu, there’s even more good news: for a limited time, you can add HBO to your subscription for only $5 a month. CNET reports that the add-on, which is usually $15 a month, is currently available at a huge discount. If you sign up for HBO during this promotion, you’ll get the $5 a month price for six months before it goes back to the normal $15 a month.

10 Podcasts to Make Your Week More Interesting

10 Podcasts to Make Your Week More Interesting

Podcasts may not be a new discovery or some secret section of the internet. But in past years, podcasts stopped being discussed quite as often as they had been before. This has led some to believe they’ve mostly stopped being made and that there aren’t really any worthwhile podcasts out there.

While the format certainly isn’t new, there are some new (or new-ish) podcasts in existence that are quite different from what you might expect. And there are some podcasts still going strong for a decade or more. When someone mentions podcasts these days, some people think they’re talking about podcasts made up of political discussions and news stories. But there’s much more out there to subscribe to and enjoy.

What’s so great about podcasts?

Podcasts might not be quite as widely discussed or followed as they were not too long ago. But there are a lot of reasons to download or stream some podcasts. Here are a few things that are great about podcasts:

  • They can cover a wide variety of topics and be made in a number of different formats
  • You can find fun, interesting, or highly knowledgable hosts
  • You can listen to new content regularly (sometimes monthly, often weekly)
  • You can subscribe using music platforms you probably already use (like iTunes and Spotify)
  • There’s a lot to choose from because creators have so many outlets
  • You can listen to your podcasts during trips and your work commute
  • You can listen on many different devices, including smartphones, computers, and smart speakers

Where can you find podcasts?

There are a number of places to find new podcasts you may want to listen to. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • iTunes: Podcasts have been available on iTunes for many years now.
  • Spotify: Spotify listeners can stream quite a few podcasts and scroll through the podcasts they’re currently following.
  • Listen Notes: This website is a search engine devoted specifically to finding podcasts.
  • Stitcher: This site hosts many different podcasts (some of which you’ll see below).

Before you listen to these podcasts…

Keep in mind that the podcasts listed in this article may include some mature content. We can’t guarantee that they’ll be safe for work or that the content will always be clean or inoffensive. Always make sure to visit a podcast’s page and read its description before subscribing!

10 interesting podcasts

The following podcasts are all fairly different from one another. Take a look at each one to learn a little more about it, then click the podcast’s link to find out more!

Answer Me This
Answer Me This is a comedy podcast devoted to answering odd or interesting questions. Each episode description features a long list of topics discussed in the podcast (like “goldfish as gifts” and “Dothraki grammar”). Episode descriptions also feature a suggestion of how mature that specific episode’s content is (though the tone here is humorous just like everything else on the podcast). Episodes are bi-weekly.

Criminal
This podcast taps into peoples’ interest in true stories about shocking and compelling crimes. It attempts to actually look deeper into an understanding of the crimes instead of simply describing what happened. It’s been going for several years and puts out two episodes each month. Episodes feature a variety of different types of crimes. Some recent episode titles include “Willie Bosket,” “Secrets and Séances,” “A Bump in the Night,” and “Vanish.”

Hello from the Magic Tavern
Hello from the Magic Tavern is a comedy podcast that features the fictional Arnie, a man from our world who accidentally fell into another world (through a portal behind a Burger King) and ended up in a place called Foon. Arnie hosts each podcast in the Vermillion Minotaur, his new land’s local tavern, and he includes co-hosts (a wizard and a talking badger). He typically brings people of interest from the land of Foon onto the show and interviews them. This podcast has been running for several years and will appeal to both comedy and fantasy fans.

How Did This Get Made?
This podcast features funny conversations about bad films. The hosts (including Paul Scheer), based on recommendations, watch bad movies with their guests and then discuss them. Some past guests have included Patton Oswalt, James Franco, Seth Rogen, John Mulaney, Anna Faris, Kevin Smith, and many more. New episodes come out every other week.

Important If True
Important If True is a somewhat new podcast (which started last year). The hosts discuss various interesting topics and do it with a sense of humor. They often talk about future technology, science, and life in general. They often go off on tangents describing funny imagined scenarios, and it’s never a boring or dry discussion. Some episode titles include “Alexa, Destroy Me,” “The Terrible Power of Knowledge,” and “Untethered From Reality.” It’s posted weekly (though at the time of writing this article, episodes may be released less frequently).

Stuff You Missed in History Class
This podcast is from How Stuff Works. It features interesting historical topics that you probably didn’t learn about and that will catch your interest. Some recent podcasts are titled “Ignaz Semmelweis and the War on Handwashing” and “Hawaii’s Legend of the Menehune.” Podcasts can be sorted and looked through by topic or by the century the information is set in.

Stuff You Should Know
This is another podcast brought to you by How Stuff Works. The concept of this podcast is that there are a lot of things you might not know about, including some basic information. Each podcast covers a different subject you could benefit from knowing more about. There are podcasts focused on topics like landmines, the evolution of language, trickle down economics, hoarding, crime scene cleanup, and much more. You can sort and look through podcasts by topic.

They Walk Among Us
This podcast is not for the faint of heart. True crime shows are highly popular entertainment these days, and this podcast fits the bill. They Walk Among Us is a true crime podcast that features real events set in the UK. They have episodes on subjects like “Wearside Jack,” Alan Turing, missing persons, and more.

Thrilling Adventure Hour
This now-ended podcast is set like an old radio program. It features fictional stories read by the cast in front of an actual audience. There’s music, humor, and some interesting tales. It ended a couple of years ago, but the good news is you can still listen to the old recordings, and they’re worth going back to listen to even knowing there’s not more to come. Since they were created to have an old-timey feel anyway, it doesn’t matter that the episodes are a few years old.

You Must Remember This
This podcast is a work of creative nonfiction that features the host (Karina Longworth) telling true stories set in Hollywood during the classic era. Each episode is carefully researched, put together, and hosted by Longworth. There have been stories about Bela Lugosi, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Charles Manson’s connections to Hollywood, and much more. It’s currently on break, and the new season is scheduled to begin this July. In the meantime, you can listen to previous episodes in the show’s archive.

Plan Your Valentine’s Day Online

Plan Your Valentine’s Day Online

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, and whether you have a significant other or not, you may still want to make plans. And with so many specific sites and apps out there these days, it’s easier than ever to plan your February 14th by using your internet connection.

The internet can play an important role in how you prepare for any holiday. But with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about how you can make the day easier. You may not even know how many helpful apps and sites there are that cater to lovebirds, people who are looking, and people who are single.

If you have a special someone, or if you don’t have a date for the 14th yet (and even if you don’t want one), scroll through for some ways you can improve Valentine’s Day this 2018!

Find a date

There are definitely plenty of dating sites and apps to choose from. You can find more general sites, like most of the ones below, or you can narrow your search to sites that focus on a specific interest. If you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day and you’d like to, you might find someone who’s looking for a date for the 14th themselves.

  • Match—Match is the popular dating site that’s been around since the 90s. You can join for free, but to really use the site, you’ll need a subscription.
  • Zoosk—Zoosk is another well-known dating site, this one started in the mid-2000s. Like Match, you can join for free, but you’ll need to pay to actually use their services.
  • Tinder—If you want to try a free way to maybe find a Valentine’s Day date, give Tinder a shot. Keep in mind, people using Tinder have a wide variety of agendas, and it’s not like a dating site that has a detailed algorithm for matches.
  • OkCupid—OkCupid has also been hugely popular for years. OkCupid also has a free version, as well as a paid version. With OkCupid, though, you can do more in the free version than other sites.
  • Coffee Meets Bagel—This app is a newer dating option that began in the mid-2010s and has been gaining in popularity. You have suggested matches every afternoon who are chosen through their algorithm.

Plan an outing

If you want to go out this year, you have a few things to consider. Here are just a few ways you can plan your day (or night).

Take a trip—If you’re going out of town, you might want to stay with Airbnb. Or if your plans are slightly more last-minute, give HotelTonight a look.

Find a restaurant—If you want to make a reservation, try the OpenTable app. And of course, the top app for searching for the best restaurant choice is still Yelp.

Look for special events in town—If you want to spend your Valentine’s Day going to an event you’ll both like, find out what’s happening nearby with something like Eventbrite, or search through Events on Facebook.

Stay in

You don’t have to hit the town or take a trip to celebrate. If you do plan a night in, take a look and see if these apps and sites can make it special.

Cook—When you decide to try your hand at cooking a romantic dinner, download a cooking app like BigOven (Android or iOS) or Food Network in the Kitchen (Android or iOS) for a little extra help. Both offer thousands of recipes to choose from.

Order in—Maybe cooking isn’t really your thing. If that’s the case, you can always find food to order with apps like GrubHub and UberEats, both of which let you find what’s nearby and have it delivered to you.

Play music—Playlists and genre stations can help give your night atmosphere. You can always make your own playlist with Spotify or find a themed one, and Pandora has plenty of playlists for different occasions (including Love Songs Radio).

Give something nice

It’s not a requirement to buy something for your Valentine’s Day date, but it can be a nice gesture! If you think your date would like something for the occasion, here are some places you can find something for them without leaving home.

Sweets—Chocolates and other candies are an obvious (and usually well-liked) choice for Valentine’s Day. See’s Candies offers a lot of different options for candy. 1-800-Flowers may have “Flowers” in the name, but they also have a large selection of sweets. And Godiva has many different chocolate options. All of these sites specifically have pages dedicated to Valentine’s Day sweets.

Arrangements—Whether you want flowers or something a little different, an arrangement can be a nice gift. 1-800-Flowers has many, many different options for bouquets and other types of flowers. Shari’s Berries offers many different bouquets that can be paired with their berries (meaning you can order a bouquet with chocolate covered strawberries). ThinkGeek is a little bit different—instead of sending a bouquet of flowers, you might want to send a bouquet of plushies (like a bouquet of plush dragons).

Gifts—If you’re not sure what to get someone for Valentine’s Day, take a look at my list of gift finders! It includes several websites that offer gift suggestions and even let you buy the suggested gifts right there on the site.

Custom Valentine’s Day cards—You can always buy a card at a local store, but if you want something a little more personal, you can make your own card. Canva lets you create a card from scratch or choose from many different templates, and Shutterfly has a large selection of card choices that you can customize with things like text and photos.

Connect long-distance

If your significant other is going to be out-of-town on the 14th, or if your relationship is long-distance, Valentine’s Day may seem like a downer. But there are ways to make the day a little nicer from far away. Below are just a few ways you can make the day more romantic with some helpful apps.

Plan a scavenger hunt—If your partner is away, try planning something fun for them to do anyway. One popular scavenger hunt app, Klikaklu, lets you create your own hunts and then send them to a specific person (or make them public). It’s only available for iOS, but you can try something kind of similar with Seek&Spot, another scavenger hunt app that lets you create your own hunts.

Send poetry—If you’re not a poet yourself, don’t worry. You can find plenty of romantic poems to send on Valentine’s Day. Love Poems is available for Android, and it lets you search, save, and send poems. On iOS, you can try Valentine’s Love Poems for romantic poems you can share.

Keep in touch—If you’re long-distance, make sure you’re staying connected. Couple is an app that can be helpful on Valentine’s Day, since it lets you message each other, and it also has ThumbKiss, which is a feature that makes phones vibrate when both people press their thumbs to same spot on their phones.

Skip romance

There’s been plenty in this article for those who have a date or are looking for one. But being without a romantic date on Valentine’s Day is awesome, too. There are plenty of things to do if you’re single on February 14th. Here are just a couple ideas!

Find a Second Halloween—Some people are skipping Valentine’s Day and celebrating Second Halloween instead. Your town might be throwing a Second Halloween bash—search for “2nd Halloween” or “Second Halloween” on Facebook, narrow your results to “Events,” and see what you find!

Celebrate Galentine’s Day—Galentine’s Day is a popular way for women to celebrate on the 13th without worrying about romance. For many, it replaces Valentine’s Day celebrations. You can plan your own Galentine’s Day by using a site like RSVPify. Or if you’re new to town and looking for friends to invite, you might give Bumble a shot; Bumble is for finding friends, dates, business partners, and more, not just a dating site.

Getting Ready for the New Year

Getting Ready for the New Year

With 2017 wrapping up and 2018 quickly approaching, it might be difficult to keep up with everything. There are the holidays to get through, and with the new year, there might be some expectations or plans to keep up with. If you’re feeling a little unprepared for 2017 to come to a close, here are just some ways you can get ready, as well as some ideas for taking care of yourself!

Use an app for your resolution(s) or goals

Do you have a special New Year’s resolution? Many people come up with resolutions to better themselves or do something specific. Many people also forget about their resolutions not too far into 2018. The good news is, you can use the internet to focus on keeping your resolutions!

Even if you don’t have a resolution, you might have decided on some goals to meet over the course of the year. Here are some apps that can help!

Coach.me is an app that helps users form new habits. If you’ve set a goal to work on your diet, be more productive, or otherwise change your habits, Coach.me can help. It’s available for Android, iOS, and the web. You get access to “coaches” who help you stay on track and work to meet your goals.

GoalsOnTrack is software that helps you set and meet goals, change habits, and complete tasks. You can set goals with milestones and actual achievable end results, then follow your progress. Your habits can be linked to certain goals, as well. There’s even a vision board so you can practice visualization. This software works for Android, iOS, and the web.

irunurun is another goal-setting app that focuses on setting attainable goals and staying accountable for your progress. Your goals can be given a certain weight or value depending on how important it is. You can score points and look at your progress. You are also held accountable by being on a team—others can see your progress, which makes reaching your goals a little more competitive, as well. irunurun is available for iOS and the web.

Way of Life is a good option if you’re into visuals. You can set goals and work on your habits, then look at a visual representation of your progress. There are bar charts and pie charts, plus a scoreboard. There are also many other features that help you keep up with your goals and habits. Way of Life is available for Android and iOS.

Use websites or apps for your New Year’s Eve party

Planning a New Year’s Eve party? Don’t stress. There are quite a few ways you can use the internet to easily plan your party.

Use countdown videos

If you don’t like (or don’t have access) to the typical live countdown on New Year’s Eve, you have options online! YouTube has plenty of NYE countdowns available. For instance, you might like to simply play the London Fireworks published by BBC or the Sydney Fireworks from ABC TV. There are also countdown videos with interesting effects, like this countdown video by Mandy Mathy. You can almost certainly find one that suits your party’s style.

Use a Spotify playlist

Don’t worry about music for your party! Spotify users have already made playlists for New Year’s Eve. Searching through them, you can find one that you think your guests will like. There’s the “Ultimate Party Playlist” or the “2018 New Year’s Eve NYE Party Playlist.” Or you could get a playlist started and let your friends add to it as the party gets closer.

Make planning simpler

Check out my article called “Organize Your Upcoming Events Online” for ways you can use the internet while planning your NYE shindig!

Know your resources for stress and other concerns

Many people struggle with things like stress and depression around the New Year. The holidays can be a stressful time, and they can be difficult for some. The best thing you can do for yourself is see a health professional so you can talk through your concerns. However, in the meantime, here are some apps or websites you might check out for self-care during the New Year:

Spotify Voice Commands Coming for Google Assistant

Spotify Voice Commands Coming for Google Assistant

Spotify is making itself even more easily accessible by allowing voice commands through Google Assistant. Spotify, the popular music streaming service, has been in the news recently for other good reasons, including its recently added Spotify Student Hulu Bundle. Spotify is now upping its game with additional voice control features. Previously, Spotify could be controlled through certain devices, like Google Home and Amazon Echo. With Google Home, users could link their Spotify account through Google home and use the “OK Google” command to play music, change the volume, ask what was being played, and more. With Amazon Echo, users could add their Spotify account in the Alexa app and ask Alexa to play certain songs or playlists, control the volume, and more. Without these devices, it was less simple to access Spotify with just a voice.

Spotify’s recent announcement is exciting for everyone who likes to listen to music hands-free. Now that Spotify will be controlled through Google Assistant, its voice features will be accessible to more people than ever. The feature will be coming out over the next couple of weeks and will work through Google Assistant on any Android device that supports it. Google Assistant on Android devices uses the same kind of commands as Google Home. You’ll be able to link your Spotify account through Google Assistant and make it the default music service, then start your commands with “OK Google” to get the music playing. You’ll be able to ask for music, start playlists, change the volume, and more. Best of all, this is available to both Free and Premium Spotify members, so you don’t even have to sign up for a paid plan to use it.

The expansion of their voice control ability is great news for people who want to multi-task or aren’t able to keep their device handy while listening to music. For instance, someone using a Bluetooth speaker will be able to leave their device on the coffee table while they clean, changing songs without having to turn off the vacuum or stop washing dishes. It will add an extra bit of convenience for those who don’t want to have to keep their phone nearby while they rock out. Keep an eye out for Spotify voice control to hit your Google Assistant soon.

Spotify & Hulu Bundle Launches for Students

Spotify & Hulu Bundle Launches for Students

College students, rejoice! Spotify and Hulu have joined together to offer the Spotify Student Hulu Bundle. Students who are attending an eligible college or university can take advantage of a new bundle that offers Spotify and Hulu for $4.99 a month. If you already paid for Spotify Student, this new bundle essentially gives you Hulu as an added bonus. The Spotify & Hulu bundle is available for new users and old, as long as they’re attending an accredited institution. This is fantastic news for college students, especially those who already pay for one of the services.

New and returning users can get the bundle by going to the Spotify Student page and get started with the process. To get a student plan, Spotify makes sure that you’re a student currently enrolled in college. In addition to the typical information you might enter for a new account, they ask for information like which college you’re attending. They use a third party called SheerID to verify that you really are a student. Whether you’re a new Spotify user or someone just switched to Student from a regular Premium account, Spotify will switch you over to a Student account once you’ve been approved.

During the account activation process, you’ll be asked to connect with Hulu. If you don’t have Hulu yet, don’t worry—you’ll be given a chance to start your account. If you already have Hulu and you’re using the same email on both Spotify and Hulu, the Hulu registration screen should show that your email address is already linked to an account. Just click to log in, enter your password, and sign in to your Hulu account.

If you’re already a Spotify Student user, and you just want to add Hulu to your account, all you need to do is log in to Spotify, visit the Spotify Student page, click “Get Started,” and follow the on-screen prompts. Spotify will tell you that you already have Spotify Student and ask if you want to add Hulu (why bother asking, honestly—who wouldn’t want free Hulu?). Just click through to either create a new Hulu account or link your existing one.

Keep in mind, of course, that this service is only available as long as you’re a student. Spotify sends reminders each year to re-activate Spotify Student by proving your enrollment status again. So you may not be able to keep this $4.99 bundle forever, but it’s definitely a much-needed perk while you’re battling your way toward graduation.