The Storm Brewing Between Roku and Google May End up Costing You
My family was forced to drop traditional cable television a few years ago when we moved because there is no cable service availability where we live and just like that, we stepped into the world of Roku and streaming services.
At first, it was really hard to transition from traditional television to streaming because it was all so new, but it's grown on us. I think what we like the most is all the options any time of the day or night, although we are at the mercy of our internet to be able to stream and our internet isn't always the most reliable. The trade-off of living in the woods.
My husband and I homeschool our son and one of the things we like is being able to watch YouTube TV through our Roku. When Elon Musk sent a spaceship into outer space, we were able to watch it live and in real time using YouTube TV through our Roku. However, the ability to live stream from broadcast and cable networks through YouTube TV might be coming to an end.
Roku sent out a letter to its users earlier this week informing them that YouTube TV might be disappearing from the Roku platform because of “predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory” behavior. Those harsh words come straight from Roku who claims Google isn’t being rational and isn’t willing to negotiate fairly with them.
In its letter, Roku claims that Google is asking for hardware updates that will make the cost of the device jump and compete with Chromecast (Google owns Chromecast as well as YouTube). Roku also claims Google asked the company to create a separate search results bar for YouTube right within Roku’s interface while blocking search results from other providers whenever the YouTube app is open.
In other words, this has nothing to do with money. On the other hand, YouTube told Axios that they’ve been negotiating in good faith with Roku. So, what’s he big deal? Roku claims Google is picking on it unfairly by asking it to do something that Google isn’t doing in Chromecast and that it isn’t requiring Amazon or Apple to do.
A Roku spokesperson told The Verge, “Google is already under fire from governments around the world for manipulating search results. It is outrageous that Google would now try to insist on manipulating Roku’s search results as well.”