After months of bickering, Roku and Google have settled their differences over the YouTube and YouTube TV apps, leaving only a day to spare before a crucial deadline.
Roku announced on Wednesday morning that it had reached a “multi-year extension” for the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on its streaming platform, ending—for now, anyway—the threat of Roku users losing access to the apps.
“This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform,” a Roku spokesperson said.
The deal comes just a day before Roku’s existing deal with Google for the YouTube app was set to expire. If that deadline had passed without an agreement, Roku would have presumably yanked the YouTube app from its channel store, same as it did with the YouTube TV app back in April.
Roku and Google have been wrangling over the YouTube and YouTube TV apps for the better part of the year, with Roku accusing Google of trying to manipulate its search results. Google has emphatically denied the charges.
Although Roku pulled the YouTube TV app from its channel store back in April, Roku users who already had the app were allowed to continue using it.
Google subsequently built a backdoor to YouTube TV in the main YouTube app, but with the December 9 deadline looming, there was the chance that Roku would pull the YouTube app from its channel store, as well.
In a blog post back in October, Roku asserted that its spat with Google was “not about money,” but that Google was seeking to “interfere” in its video search results by “requiring that we preference YouTube over other content providers.” Roku also accused Google of “demanding search, voice, and data features that they do not insist on from other streaming platforms.”
Google pushed back against those charges, countering that Roku “has once again chosen to make unproductive and baseless claims rather than try to work constructively with us.”
Neither side revealed what finally cleared the logjam, which is typical given the nature of such closed-door negotiations.
Roku has a history of public disputes with streaming video providers. For instance, both the HBO Max and Peacock apps only arriving on Roku devices following lengthy (and sometimes bitter) negotiations.