Users who already have the YouTube TV app on their Roku devices will continue to watch, but new YouTube TV subscribers will be unable to sign up or update the app.
Since the companies’ distribution agreement has expired, Roku has removed Google’s live TV streaming service, YouTube TV, from its channel shop. Users who already have YouTube TV installed on their Roku devices will continue to watch it, but no new customers can sign up for the channel or download it if it isn’t already installed.
Roku’s main YouTube app is unchanged. The dispute between Roku and Google is limited to the YouTube TV app, a streaming service that streams live television channels and is commonly used by cord cutters as an alternative to cable or satellite.
The withdrawal of YouTube TV from Roku’s store is the latest development in a standoff between two technological titans. Google is one of the most oligopolistic firms in the tech industry, with such a tight hold on industries like internet search and advertisement that it is being investigated for monopoly violations. Roku is much smaller, but it has emerged as one of the most powerful forces in streaming-TV distribution, a field that has only increased in prominence and potential as the pandemic has progressed.
Roku is “disappointed” that Google has allowed the YouTube TV agreement to expire, according to a tweet. Roku reaffirmed what it said earlier this week when it first revealed that the service could be withdrawn from its platform: The business said it isn’t looking for more money from Google, but it is sticking to its guns on issues like search-result manipulation, data access, hardware specifications that could raise computer costs, and what it calls Google’s “discriminatory and anticompetitive” behavior.
The assertion that YouTube made “any requests to access user data or interfere with search results” is “baseless and misleading,” according to YouTube.
“Our agreements with partners provide technical criteria to ensure a high-quality YouTube experience,” the company said in a statement on Friday. “Roku asked for exceptions that would break the YouTube experience and restrict our ability to update YouTube to fix bugs or introduce new features. For example, even if you purchased a Roku system that supports those resolutions, you wouldn’t be able to watch YouTube in 4K HDR or 8K because it doesn’t support open-source video codecs.”