Deal Resolves Long Standoff, Keeping YouTube, YouTube TV On Roku Devices


After a standoff that began back in April, Roku and Google have announced a multi-year agreement that will keep YouTube and YouTube TV on Roku devices. 

The deal resolves a much-watched feud between the largest over-the-top platform and the second most-used app. 

“Roku and Google have agreed to a multi-year extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV,” Roku confirmed in an announcement. “This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform.” 

The companies’ existing carriage deal covering YouTube on Roku was set to expire on Dec. 9, and Google had already threatened to cease making YouTube accessible through new Roku devices as of that date. 

The YouTube TV app will begin loading back into Roku’s channel store Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET. 

Terms of the new deal weren’t disclosed. 

In April, when Roku’s deal to distribute YouTube TV expired, Roku dropped the app from its channel store, although the TV service remained accessible through YouTube itself. 

During the standoff, users who had already downloaded the YouTube TV and YouTube apps could continue to use them, and Google developed a workaround that allowed people to access YouTube TV functionality through the YouTube app. 

Roku, which had 54 million active user accounts as of September, stood to risk significant user losses if it dropped YouTube, while competitors including Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV continue to carry it. YouTube drives 6% of total TV viewing, according to Nielsen. 

But Roku — which has been tenacious in fighting for favorable terms in respect to the portion of ads it gets rights to sell within carriage deals — asserted that Google was acting monopolistically and demanding unprecedented terms, including that Roku preference YouTube over other content providers in search results and offer additional data, search and voice features. 

Google said the claims were baseless.
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