Back in April, Ruku called out Google in an abrasive email, threatening to no longer carry Youtube TV on its devices. Shortly afterward, it followed up on those threats, and did exactly that, stating that Google had basically become a monopolistic bully for imposing its marketing presence over its competitors in unfair ways.
In a new blog post this morning, the company delivered an update on the Youtube TV situation, continuing to fire at Google for its practices. It reiterated several of its past and existing concerns, including the idea that Google has interfered with search result preferences, placing Youtube over Roku when people look things up. Another issue Roku took with Google was the fact that the tech giant allegedly “discriminated” against it, demanding search, voice, and data features that aren’t requirements on other platforms.
Having been unable to renew its contract with Google for Youtube TV, more bad news popped up for users today. Due to yet another expiring contract and the aforementioned continued strain on the business relationship, the Youtube app itself will no longer be able to be installed on new Roku devices as of December 9, 2021.
Since our negotiations with Roku earlier this year, we’ve continued to work with them to find a resolution that benefits our mutual users. Roku has once again chosen to make unproductive and baseless claims rather than try to work constructively with us. Since we haven’t been able to continue our conversations in good faith, our partnership for all new Roku devices will unfortunately end on December 9. We are, however, giving Roku the ability to continue distributing both YouTube and YouTube TV apps to all existing users to make sure they are not impacted.Axios
To be clear, any existing Roku devices that have Youtube or Youtube TV installed on them will continue to have access to these apps for the foreseeable future. We’ll have to wait to see what next steps both companies take (or don’t take) to determine whether or not Youtube’s suite of services will be removed from Roku set-top boxes and streaming sticks entirely.
The removal of the real OG, Youtube, is going to make major waves for Roku users. Youtube TV is one thing, but Youtube itself is a pretty significant hit. This reminds me of the time when Amazon and Google had the same spat and Youtube was removed from those devices. In the end, the user ends up losing the most when companies can’t work together, and that’s just a shame.
We’ll keep you posted if there is an update on this situation, but for now, you may want to start putting your Roku device with Youtube and Youtube TV pre-installed on Amazon! It may go for more money soon than a Pixel with Flappy Bird installed on it used to.