It’s an early Christmas miracle for fans of streaming content, as Youtube and Roku have ended their year-long squabbles to renew the partnership a day before it was set to expire, as reported by Deadline.
As part of the new agreement, the streaming platform Roku will continue to offer the YouTube TV application on its service. For much of this year, existing Roku customers could still access YouTube TV, but new customers were unable to find it in the Roku store.
The Battle Of The Search Engines
Roku detailed its complaints in a blog post from October, the company accused YouTube’s parent company Google of anti-competitive practices, noting a “disturbing trend that threatens the vibrant and competitive TV streaming ecosystem.”
In the post, Roku clarified that “our concerns with Google are not about money.” Rather, they objected to the way the search engine giant would interfere with Roku’s independent search results, “requiring that we preference YouTube over other content providers.”
Additionally, Roku alleges that Google requires Roku adopt search, voice, and data features “that they do not insist on from other streaming platforms.”
Bottom line, Roku charged that Youtube wanted “to gain improper access to important data,” and was behaving in a monopolistic manner.
In response, Youtube pushed back on the claim. "Roku has once again chosen to make unproductive and baseless claims rather than try to work constructively with us.”
Roku is one of the most-popular streaming service providers with 56.4 million active accounts. It debuted in 2008 in conjunction with Netflix, right before the streaming revolution really began.
The YouTube TV application offers options for both live television and on-demand video. In Google’s most recent update in 2020, the company said the application had more than 3 million subscribers.
At last check, the stock price of Google’s parent company Alphabet was up 0.020% today, while Roku’s stock was up 9.53%.