Google agreement saves Roku from heading the same way as Windows Phone

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A major issue for Roku has been averted, after the brand confirmed that it has reached a ‘multi-year’ agreement with Google to allow the YouTube app to remain on its Roku Store.

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The two sides were at a standstill in a disagreement over the continued availability of the YouTube app for new Roku users — those who already downloaded it would be able to continue using it. Losing direct access to YouTube isn’t the best form for a company trying to lead the streaming revolution.

However, the two brands have “agreed to a multi-year extension with Google for YouTube and YouTube TV. This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, allowing all streamers on both YouTube and YouTube TV on the Roku platform.” become available for.”


The reason for the original disagreement, which would have seen YouTube disappear as an app on December 9th, is still unclear — in Roku’s press release, the brand says it wasn’t about the money, but Google over Roku’s features. It was about the request. Should support, and its placement in Roku’s Channel Store:

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“We are working to address two primary concerns: First, Google continues to interfere with Roku’s independent search results, which requires that we prioritize YouTube over other content providers.

“This is a concern shared by many companies, which believe that customers receive neutral and relevant results for their search queries. Second, Google discriminates against Roku by demanding search, voice and data features, which they Other streaming platforms don’t insist.”

Windows Phone cautionary tale

This isn’t the first time Google has reached a disagreement with a major brand over the use of its apps – Windows Phone was launched by Microsoft in the early 2010s to much fanfare, and users initially liked that. The YouTube app skips ads and allows videos to be downloaded.

Google didn’t like this stripping of the revenue stream, especially as Windows Phone was building up momentum, and forced out the app. It was re-enabled by removing the ability to revert and download ads, but it was removed two days later after both parties disagreed on the use of the new HTML 5 format… and it was never returned. Came.

whereas Distant From being the only app missing from the Windows Phone platform, YouTube left a huge usability hole, as users needed to visit the mobile site to engage with Google’s popular video content, while the Android and iOS versions of the platform offered slick and impressive functionality. Offered.

Even with the agreement, we haven’t yet seen what this ‘multi-year extension’ will actually bring – has Roku admitted to letting the app appear at the top of search listings? Will search and data capabilities be upgraded? Regardless, having the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on the store will help the popular platform remain attractive to new customers.

This is especially important as the holiday season approaches and families settle into movies in front of TVs—a strong proposition that will allow them to browse popular YouTube content, a key to Roku’s continued success.

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