Roku and Google have agreed a deal that will keep the YouTube and YouTube TV apps available on Roku devices. This brings an end to a situation that has been ongoing for most of 2021, with the agreement not only beneficial to Roku and YouTube TV, but also consumers in general.
It became clear that a dispute had arisen between Roku and Google when the YouTube TV channel (app) was removed from the Roku platform back in April. This led to Google implementing a workaround that allowed YouTube TV subscribers to access the service directly through the main YouTube app. However, the dispute also involved the main YouTube app with the suggestion it could also be removed from the platform.
A deal has now been reached which not only ensures that the main YouTube TV app won’t be removed, but the YouTube TV app will be returning to the Roku platform. In a message sent out by Roku, the company confirmed that a multi-year extension with Google for YouTube and YouTube TV had been reached. The message also confirmed the extension is effective as of today and that both YouTube and YouTube TV are available to download on Roku devices once again. For reference, the Roku Store appears to have already re-adding the app, making it possible for users to add the channel to their devices once again.
Needless to say, this is a win for everyone involved. Roku is a hugely popular streaming hardware brand with many consumers relying on the company’s players for access to their favorite apps. Likewise, YouTube TV has become one of the most popular live TV streaming services in the US. A combination which meant a permanent removal of the YouTube TV app had the potential to impact on a significant number of consumers by forcing them to choose between their preferred live TV provider and their preferred streaming player.
Beyond the confirmation of the deal being done, no further details have been made public yet on what the agreement involves. Previously, Roku had suggested that Google was making unreasonable demands that potentially put user privacy at risk. A claim Google and YouTube had denied, arguing that the terms sought were the same ones covered by the existing deal between the two companies. Whatever the reason for the new agreement, this Roku and YouTube TV dispute now looks to have finally come to an end.