Google, Roku Reach Deal on YouTube and YouTube TV

Roku YouTube TV
(Image credit: Roku)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Google and Roku have reached a deal in a dispute between two of the largest players in the streaming industry (opens in new tab) that had threatened to remove the popular YouTube and YouTube TV apps from the Roku streaming platform.  

Worries that the apps might drop off the Roku platform on December 9 had helped push Roku’s stock down in recent weeks. 

Roku's stock rebounded sharply after the news broke on December 8 and was up by 16.3% at 12:40 ET.

In a blog post on October 21 (opens in new tab) about the dispute Roku claimed that “we have seen a disturbing trend that threatens the vibrant and competitive TV streaming ecosystem. Rather than embracing a mutually beneficial partnership approach, some Big Tech enterprises are using their market power to extend control over independent businesses, like Roku, to benefit their broader business objectives at the expense of the consumer, putting a fair and open competitive streaming marketplace at risk.”

Google had responded by saying it would remove the apps from all new Roku devices if a deal was not reached. 

The dispute came at a time when tech giants like Google are facing increasing regulatory and political scrutiny and could have had a major impact on the streaming industry, given that Roku is the largest streaming platform and Nielsen reported that YouTube accounted for 6% of all TV viewing in October (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.