Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Roku Faces Off With Google Over YouTube Access – Resolved!

Roku has enjoyed a lot of success, but that might be in jeopardy if Google removes YouTube from Roku devices due to the inability to negotiate a new agreement. Roku is painting Google as the villain.

Roku Home Screen with YouTube App Crossed Out

UPDATE 12/10/2021: YouTube users on Roku can breathe a sigh of relief. In a brief statement, Roku has announced that its issues with Google over YouTube and YouTube TV access appear to have been resolved. Current users can continue viewing and new users can download and install the apps. No further details have been mentioned at this time.

The following is archived information regarding the original controversy.

The past couple of years has been very successful for Roku. Its streaming platform is not only widely available on plug-in streaming devices, but its OS streaming platform is built into a growing number of TVs and soundbars

However, the real key to Roku’s success is providing access to well over 5,000 free and subscription-based streaming apps. Roku has also entered the content space with its streaming app that features curated and original content, as well as access to live TV

That being said, Roku is getting stuck in quicksand with one of its most popular content partners, Google. 

The problem is that Google owns YouTube, and Roku claims that Google is throwing its weight around to such an extent, that Roku is at immediate risk of losing the rights to offer YouTube on its streaming platform. Without YouTube, and its huge number of viewers, the popularity of Roku streaming devices could see a dip. 

YouTube on Roku

The main sticking point for Roku is that they claim Google is demanding that it provide preferential treatment to YouTube apps within their content search feature. Roku refuses this demand as it operates search results agnostically.

Of course, Google counterclaims that they have never asked for preferential treatment. However, CNBC has also claimed that it has uncovered an email from 2019 that indicates that Google did indeed ask for favorable search treatment from Roku.

The friction between Roku and Google is not new. In April/May 2021, Google pulled the paid subscription-based YouTube TV app from Roku’s offerings, but still placed access to it as a paid category within the standard free YouTube app on Roku devices.

  • If Roku and Google can’t resolve their differences, new Roku users will not be able to download and install the YouTube or YouTube TV apps on Roku devices after December 9th, 2021.  
  • Current Roku users that already have the YouTube and/or YouTube TV apps installed could still use those apps after the cut-off date for the time being. However, how long that access would last would remain to be seen. 

The Roku/Google controversy has not escaped the eyes of some members of Congress. However, if Congress does get involved that doesn’t necessarily mean that the result will be better than Roku and Google hashing this situation out themselves. 

It must be pointed out that in the past Amazon also had a dispute with Google which prevented direct access to YouTube on Fire TV and Echo Show devices, but that was eventually worked out.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Also, during that dispute, Amazon did provide a workaround for YouTube access via the Firefox and Silk Web Browsers. However, since Roku does not provide an effective web browser, this type of workaround is not available to Roku users. 

NOTE: This is a developing story. As significant developments are verified, this article will be updated. 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


New Products

TEAC UD-507 USB DAC / Preamplifier / Headphone Amplifier in Silver

Headphone Amps

Borrowing design concepts from TEAC’s top-of-the-line 700 Series, the standout feature of the UD-507 is TEAC’s new proprietary "TRDD5" (TEAC Reference Discrete DAC) designed...

Sonos Roam 2 in wave light blue color in-hand Sonos Roam 2 in wave light blue color in-hand

New Products

While we were all distracted by the company's first headphones, Sonos quietly slipped in an update to their popular Bluetooth portable speaker.

JMGO N1S Projector 180-inch Screen JMGO N1S Projector 180-inch Screen

New Products

JMGO is introducing two Netflix certified lifestyle projectors. Find out what's different between the N1S ($999) and N1S Ultra ($2,499).

Bose SoundLink Max Portable Bluetooth Speaker Carry in-hand Blue Bose SoundLink Max Portable Bluetooth Speaker Carry in-hand Blue

New Products

At $399, Bose SoundLink Max is a rugged portable Bluetooth Speaker that is ready for your summer of adventures in 2024.

Sonos Ace Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Lifestyle Collage Sonos Ace Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Lifestyle Collage

New Products

The first wireless headphones from Sonos will arrive June 5th for $449. Does the Sonos Ace have something up its sleeve?

BenQ W5800 Projector Front BenQ W5800 Projector Front

New Products

At $5,999, the BenQ W5800 4K Laser DLP Projector uses proprietary HDR-PRO technology for enhanced details on screens up to 200-inches.

You May Also Like

New Products

For 2024 VIZIO is introducing seven new soundbars priced from $99 to $499 that easily attach to the bottom of a TV.


Roku OS 13 brings a major update to the brand's TVs and streaming players. Find out what's new.


Roku users can access NBA content all in one place, including re-airs of basketball games, highlights, original series, G league and in-market live games.

Daily Deals

LG is offering up to 37% off 4K OLED TVs and Dolby Atmos soundbars from last year during March Madness until April 7, 2024.

Daily Deals

TCL's 4K TV sale will end on March 3, 2024, but its 98-inch TV sale ends sooner. Don't miss your chance to save.


The Displace Flex and Mini Wireless TVs utilize a proprietary swappable battery system and can be surface mounted with active-loop vacuum technology.

New Products

For 2024 Samsung is introducing four new soundbars and a unique wireless speaker called the Music Frame.


In 2024 Roku will introduce its best 4K TVs ever. New Pro Series models feature QLED and Mini-LED technology in 55", 65" and 75"...


ecoustics is a hi-fi and music magazine offering product reviews, podcasts, news and advice for aspiring audiophiles, home theater enthusiasts and headphone hipsters. Read more

Copyright © 1999-2024 ecoustics | Disclaimer: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

SVS Bluesound PSB Speakers NAD Cambridge Audio Q Acoustics Denon Marantz Focal Naim Audio RSL Speakers