If you’re one of the millions of users who access their streaming services through a Roku-branded television or streaming box, you may have noticed just how long it took HBO Max and Peacock to arrive on the service. Now, Google and Roku are at odds over the YouTube app following Roku’s removal of the separate YouTube TV app. Google added fuel to the fire today by adding YouTube TV to the existing YouTube App.
The fun kicked off last week when Roku removed the YouTube TV app from the Roku store. The distribution deal between the two companies expired on April 30, and Roku says Google is asking for unfair terms meant to not just benefit YouTube, but also to negatively affect Roku and Roku users. The terms include things like providing Google with special access to consumer data, Roku to build a special YouTube search function into the Roku interface, and even for Roku to meet certain hardware specs. In short, it sounds like Google is asking Roku to be another branch of its existing Chromecast product line at additional cost to Roku itself.
When negotiations stalled out and the distribution agreement expired, Roku removed the YouTube TV app.