It seems like things between Roku and Google are getting tense these days. If you happen to use a Roku device to stream your favorite content on a television, you better pay attention. According to Roku, the service told users that it might be forced to remove YouTube TV from its catalog in light of alleged demands from Google.
According to Axios, the whole situation came to light when Roku notified users about the drama via email. The service says YouTube TV could be taken off Roku entirely because of anti-competitive demands made by Google. Roku says the tech giant asked for its YouTube TV and YouTube app to get preferential treatment compared to competitor apps.
As for which party is pushing the removal, it seems Google is behind the rally. Roku says Google has threatened to remove access to YouTube TV. As Axios explains, "Google has asked Roku to do things that it does not see replicated on other streaming competitors' platforms, like creating a dedicated search results row for YouTube within the Roku smart TV interface and giving YouTube search results more prominent placement." And if the reports are true, this isn't the only condition being asked by Google.
Roku also says Google has pushed the service to use more expensive hardware which would raise prices on Roku devices. This would make the streaming tool compete more heavily with Google's Chromecast. Roku also says Google has asked the service to block search and music results from other non-Google entities even if users have set their preference to Spotify for instance.
This ordeal is obviously a sticky one, and fans are anxiously awaiting a resolution. The Roku-Google rift marks one of the biggest carriage spats since the Roku launched. It might have had issues securing the HBO Max app a while back, but Roku got everything under control. Now, Google is allegedly demanding anti-competitive perks which puts Roku in a hard spot. But as Google's carriage agreement nears its end, Roku must find a compromise if it wants to keep YouTube TV around. The cord-cutting era has made access to services like YouTube TV all the more important, so we're keeping our fingers crossed this spat gets resolved.
What do you make of this latest Roku snafu? Would this removal bring out your breaking point with Roku? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.