While Google and Roku don’t seem to have reached an agreement yet over their latest scuffle, YouTube seems to have found a workaround to still have YouTube TV available for Roku clients. Roku removed the YouTube TV app in protest against the “predatory, anti-competitive, and discriminatory terms” that Google is forcing them to accept. The loser of course are the new users who just want to watch their TV shows and videos on their Roku device but couldn’t because the YouTube TV app is not available.
YouTube says that existing members using the Roku device will be able to access YouTube TV from within the main YouTube app. At the bottom of the app on Roku devices, there’s a shortcut called “Go to YouTube TV” and you’ll be able to enjoy the YouTube TV experience that’s not available as a standalone app right now because of issues between the two tech companies. It will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku in the next few days.
Google also gave an update on their “negotiations” with Roku. They said they’re still working on coming up with an agreement that will ensure continued access for their mutual customers. Right now, existing YouTube TV users still have access to the app on the Roku devices but new users who will try to install it will not be able to do so. They said they’re also in discussion with “other partners” if members will face any access issues on Roku.
They also shared that they are in long-term conversations to certify that new Roku devices will meet the technical requirements. For its part, Roku is saying that Google is using their position to force their partners to give preferential treatment to the Youtube app and are asking for access to Roku’s consumer data. Other terms include building a dedicated search results row for YouTube TV as well as meeting specific hardware specs.
These disputes between tech companies will always affect consumers so having a workaround access to YouTube TV is a good thing for users. Let’s see where these negotiations between Google and Roku will lead and how it will affect their users eventually.