Hrm… reading @YouTubeTV is getting removed from @Roku devices.— Craig Salitros (@csalitros) October 26, 2021
This is kinda disappointing… I’ve already had to replace one Roku with an @AppleTV for performance reasons … I guess that trend continues?
[Poll results live] Roku stands to lose more than Google in the YouTube & YouTube TV feud
New updates are being added to the bottom of the story…
Original story (from Oct 31) follows:
The changes that have been propelled by Big Tech over the recent past can hardly go unnoticed. And thanks to the riches accompanying the business disruption they’ve caused, governments now want to join the fun.
Earlier this year, Democratic and Republican lawmakers united to take on Big Tech, namely Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet, or Google, if you may.
Across the Atlantic, Europe isn’t relenting on war against Big Tech, crafting regulations aimed at beefing up consumer protection and privacy that these companies have held hostage for years.
In India, the government even went ahead and banned some Xiaomi products on security and privacy grounds, something that also affected other Chinese brands in the country.
And in what exemplifies why indeed regulators need to step in, Google and Roku are currently locked in a feud that says a lot about the Big Tech’s massive hold on competitive power.
You probably are aware Google recently decided that Roku devices will no longer support YouTube and YouTube TV apps natively beginning December 9, 2021.
This comes after a long-standing feud that first saw the removal of YouTube TV app from Roku store back in April. Existing users were warned against uninstalling the app since doing so would deny them permanent access.
As I write this, the story is pretty much the same with the YouTube app. Any attempts to uninstall it and you may never get the chance to run it again on your Roku.
This Roku-Google stalemate, as you’d have expected, has recently caught the attention of the U.S. Congress and is, in fact, being dissected.
Preliminary reports reveal how uncompetitive Big Tech can be if and when given chance. Apparently, Google wants a piece of the search data that Roku has been collecting over the years from its massive user base.
While Roku has all the rights to keep this valuable data close to its chest, Google, at least according to an email seen by CNBC, was seemingly taking advantage of the monopolistic powers it holds over YouTube to get Roku to cave in.
Kudos to Roku for standing against this growing arm-twisting by Big Tech companies. Being competitors in the streaming business, Roku has no reason to hand over its search data to Google.
And to force Roku into surrender, Google has turned to the best weapon at its disposal, something the Congress isn’t so happy about.
No doubt that innocent YouTube and YouTube TV subscribers will be at the center of all this — yet none asked for any of it.
Current Roku owners may find themselves having to buy an Apple TV or Google Chromecast just to watch YouTube and YouTube TV at home. Again, something they didn’t ask for.
Google will keep offering YouTube and YouTube TV services on other platforms, and probably even pocket a few more dollars from new buyers of Chromecast devices who can no longer watch YouTube on their Roku devices.
But where does this leave Roku? Well, after all is said and done, Roku stands to lose more than Google. The search giant knows that a Roku device can be replaced in a flash, but you can’t outrightly replace YouTube.
For this reason, current Roku device owners may begin replacing them with others that support YouTube and YouTube TV apps without any hassles.
Potential cord cutters are likely to be put off by the lack of YouTube support on Roku devices, hence turning their heads elsewhere. If anything, these should explain why Roku’s relishing the lawmakers’ attention to this saga.
It remains to be seen what comes out from the congress, but it seems Google may have some questions to answer. And I’ll be looking forward to see what they have to say.
If you did read all the way up to this point, you are also welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below. You can also drop a vote on the Twitter poll below and check back after a week for the results.
[POLL] Do you support Google's tactics to deny Roku owners access to YouTube and YouTube TV apps?— PiunikaWeb (@PiunikaWeb) October 31, 2021
Vote below and read our op-ed: https://t.co/Lb6JIoKN0i
Update 1 (November 07)
The results for the poll are out, with an overwhelming majority (over 81%) voting in favor of the opinion that they do not support Google’s tactics to deny Roku owners access to YouTube and YouTube TV apps.
In case you missed the poll, you can still share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom.
PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.