After issuing a warning to users earlier this week, Roku has officially stopped allowing new subscribers from downloading YouTube TV, removing the official app from its store. Former subscribers of the service, however, will still be able to access the app and all of its content, with YouTube TV likely not being made available for new downloads until Roku can reach an agreement with Google. While there are still workarounds for potential new subscribers to access the app on their TVs, this serves as just another example of the ways in which major companies can prevent subscribers from easily accessing the content they pay for on select devices.
"Roku has not asked for one dollar of additional financial consideration from Google to renew YouTube TV," a Roku rep shared in a statement to Variety. "Because of Google's conduct, new subscriptions will not be available going forward until an agreement is reached."
The Roku spokesperson added, "It is well past time for Google to embrace the principles that have made streaming so popular for millions of users by giving consumers control of their streaming experience, by embracing fair competition and by ceasing anticompetitive practices."
The outlet detailed the situation, revealing that, according to Roku, "Google is demanding that if a Roku user has the regular YouTube app open, the platform cannot display search results from third-party services like Netflix, Disney Plus, or HBO Max. Google also is asking for special access to Roku user data and wants the ability to dictate hardware requirements to Roku in the future for running its apps, Roku alleged."
Despite the popularity of Roku, this is far from the first time they have run into obstacles when it came to offering owners the ability to stream select content.
Last April saw the launch of Peacock from NBCUniversal, which was home to a number of beloved programs, like The Office and Parks and Recreation, as well as debuting a number of originals. That app wasn't available on Roku until September of 2020. An even longer holdout was in regards to HBO Max, which launched in May of last year, but it wasn't available on Roku devices until December, ultimately being made available just in time for Wonder Woman 1984 to be easily accessed through HBO Max on Roku devices.
Stay tuned for updates on how this partnership is resolved in the future.
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