Roku has been challenged by other streaming titans. It took a while for HBO Max to get its own app, and now there’s beef with Google. Here’s what’s going on.
YouTube is gone!
Amid an ongoing fight, Google just announced that it’s pulling YouTube apps from Roku. Users will no longer have the ability to download YouTube or YouTube TV from their Roku devices starting December 9. If you already have YouTube downloaded then congratulations: it won’t be uninstalled or removed. Any device purchased after the deadline date will not be able go on YouTube.
This is only the latest development in an ongoing antitrust battle. Roku claims Google is using its size and power to bully small competitors. It’s trying to force unfair pricing upon its competitor, and the whole dispute could end up in court.
Google is asking for special access to users’ metadata before the app can be downloaded. Roku agreed to give Google access to search data but won’t allow Google access to any other customer data. YouTube is being deleted because Google is having a meltdown. Google denies these allegations.
The next few decades will be crucial for the tech sector, as Congress is increasingly interested in regulation. After a whistleblower testified to Facebook, it seems like Facebook is crumbling. Google’s aggressive behavior is not going unnoticed.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline are publicly taking Roku’s side. Cicilline called Google’s supposed actions a “shakedown.” It certainly feels like Google is pulling YouTube because it didn’t get everything it wanted. Klobuchar believes this case is a good example of why the tech industry needs to be more regulated.
Roku Could Be Hurting
The soothsayers of the stock market don’t seem to like this new development. Roku stock has fallen 4.65% this week. down 11%Over the past six months. Who knows if this is connected to Google, but Roku’s only viable if it maintains support from other giants. With Google pulling its apps, what’s to stop other services like Amazon and Netflix from pulling their support as well?
It will be interesting to see if this YouTube incident leads to any regulation or cataclysmic destruction. It’s always possible both sides buckle before the December deadline. As it stands now, customers could easily choose to go with a competitor because they don’t have YouTube. It can’t be easy negotiating with a company as large as Google.