Pop CultureOctober 10, 2023

Everything you need to know about Hayu, the new streaming service that’s 100% reality TV


The American streaming service offering wall-to-wall reality series has just launched in New Zealand. Tara Ward takes a look.

What is Hayu? 

Hayu is a global on-demand streaming service that launched in New Zealand last week. It’s owned by NBC Universal International (who also own Bravo) and it’s solely dedicated to reality TV. That’s right: every show on Hayu is a reality TV show. 

Just how much reality TV are we talking? 

Hayu’s catalogue features 300 shows and 10,000 episodes. You’ll never have free time again. 

What are some of Hayu’s most popular shows? 

There are several American reality TV big hitters like Real Housewives, Below Deck, Vanderpump Rules and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, as well as a variety of other long-running popular series like Southern Charm, Million Dollar Listings and Botched. 

Will Hayu also have new seasons of these shows? 

Yes, and in great news for New Zealand fans, the majority of shows screen the same day as the US. So if you’re a Real Housewives fan, you’ll be able to watch the new Beverly Hills season on Hayu from October 26, rather than waiting until November to watch on Bravo or ThreeNow. 

(Photo: Hayu)

What if I want to watch an old season of my favourite reality show? 

You’re in luck. Hayu has an impressive back catalogue of shows, which will be a massive drawcard for dedicated reality fans. Not only does Hayu have every single Below Deck franchise (Mediterranean, Sailing Yacht, Adventure and Down Under) but it also has every single episode of every single season, all in one place.  

There’s also the entire box set of shows like Vanderpump Rules (10 seasons), Made in Chelsea (a whopping 25 seasons, with a new season starting this week), 20 seasons of Keeping up with the Kardashians (and all the endless spinoffs) and a gazillion seasons of the Real Housewives (featuring obscenely rich women from Dubai to New York to… Auckland). 

What other shows does Hayu have? 

Hayu covers all the bases, with plenty of home and design, dating, fashion and true crime reality shows. It’s a thorough mix of trash and treasure, and they’ve also opened the vault to bring us some of the more weird and wonderful shows from the past 15 years, like The World According to Paris (the socialite, not the city), Mariah’s World (sweet, sweet fantasy) and Mel B: It’s a Scary World (she wasn’t wrong).

There’s also a selection of shows that haven’t screened in New Zealand before, including Nikki Bella Says I Do, House of Villains and Celebrity Game Face.

What can I watch Hayu on? 

It’s available on a variety of devices including mobile, tablet, TV, console and web. There are no ads, and you can download up to 25 episodes to watch offline at any one time. 

What does it cost?

New subscribers get a free seven-day trial, and after that you can pay $8.99 per month, $43.99 for six months or $79.99 for 12 months. Until October 23, you can buy a 12-month subscription at 50% off, and the subscription price remains the same until you cancel (regardless of any future price increases). 

What’s the verdict?

There’s no shortage of reality TV options online, but Hayu’s strength is that it pulls everything into one place. It has an impressive back catalogue, and who doesn’t want to watch new episodes on the same day as they screen in the US? If you’re a diehard reality TV fan, Hayu might just be the only streaming platform you need.

For more reality TV chat, get amongst The Real Pod Extra on Substack.

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