NBCUniversal has just announced Hayu, a new subscription video service that will exclusively stream reality shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives, I Am Cait, Top Chef, and others when it launches in March. Hayu won't be available in the United States; instead, it's coming to the UK, Ireland, Australia, where keeping up with NBCUniversal's reality TV hits isn't as easy as turning on E! or Bravo here in the US. But the company is promising that "new episodes will be added to the service every single week, the majority of which will debut on the same day as they premiere in the US." Overall, Hayu will add over 500 episodes of reality TV each year. Over 3,000 episodes will be there at launch, and NBCUniversal is offering a free, month-long trial of the streaming service.
Since reality TV and Facebook / Twitter go hand in hand, Hayu also places a huge emphasis on social media integration. Subscribers will be able to share "specially made short-form content snippets" pulled from full episodes directly to social media. And Hayu will also bake in feeds from all the stars featured in each show and the "sources" that cover them, displaying all of that right alongside the video being streamed. "We set out to build a service that elegantly combines the best high-end reality shows with the most popular social media and digital news platforms," said Kevin MacLellan, chairman of NBCUniversal International, in a press release. "Uniquely, in Hayu, fans can find it all in one place." Pricing will vary depending on location, however. UK customers will pay £3.99 each month, while Ireland and Australia subscribers will be charged €4.99 and $5.99, respectively.
The launch of Hayu continues NBCUniversal's focus on genre-based streaming services. A few months ago, the company announced SeeSo, a $3.99-per-month video service that's dedicated to comedy. SeeSo offers access to clips from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live, plus stand-up specials, original programming, and old classics like Monty Python and The Kids in the Hall. Just like SeeSo, NBCUniversal is promising that Hayu can be streamed on most devices in your home including smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, and PCs.