Google Inserts YouTube TV Into Main YouTube App
Google escalated its fight with Roku today, inserting the
YouTube TV app into its main YouTube app. The YouTube TV app
was removed from Roku devices recently after the two companies
failed to agree on terms to renew its distribution agreement.
According to Roku, Google was making numerous ‘anti-competitive
demands’ including preferential treatment of YouTube TV
and YouTube on the Roku platform.
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Google is now informing customers of a new way to access its
streaming TV service on Roku devices.
Existing members can easily access YouTube TV by clicking on
“Go to YouTube TV” in the main YouTube app. This update will
be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku over the next
few days, and we will expand to as many devices as we can over time.
Additionally, the company says it is “in discussions with other partners
to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV
members face any access issues on Roku.”
Roku has issued a statement on the move, accusing the
company of being an unchecked monopolist.
Google’s actions are the clear conduct of an unchecked monopolist
bent on crushing fair competition and harming consumer choice.
The bundling announcement by YouTube highlights the kind of predatory
business practices used by Google that Congress, Attorney Generals
and regulatory bodies around the world are investigating. Roku has not
asked for one additional dollar in financial value from YouTubeTV.
We have simply asked Google to stop their anticompetitive behavior
of manipulating user search results to their unique financial benefit and
to stop demanding access to sensitive data that no other partner on
our platform receives today. In response, Google has continued its
practice of blatantly leveraging its YouTube monopoly to force an
independent company into an agreement that is both bad
for consumers and bad for fair competition.
Despite Roku’s accusations, it does not appear that Google is backing
down from its demand that the company support AV1 decoding.
We are also in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku to certify
that new devices meet our technical requirements.
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This certification process exists to ensure a consistent and high-quality
YouTube experience across different devices, including Google’s own
so you know how to navigate the app and what to expect.
Roku says the requirement is unreasonable and will lead to higher device costs.