YouTube, locked in a fight with Roku, is doing an end-around to let customers access the YouTube TV from its main app on connected TV platforms.
YouTube is launching a new feature that lets users access to YouTube TV from within the YouTube app, starting with Roku. The move comes after Roku last week pulled the YouTube TV app over a dispute on distribution terms.
According to YouTube, existing YouTube TV members can access the live-TV service by clicking on “Go to YouTube TV” in the main YouTube app. It will be available to all YouTube TV members on Roku “over the next few days” and plans to expand to more devices over time.
“On a parallel path, we’re working with other partners to secure free streaming devices in case YouTube TV members face any access issues on Roku,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.
Last week, the fight between Roku and Google escalated into public view. Roku pulled YouTube TV from its channel store on April 30, alleging that Google was making anticompetitive demands for Roku to continue distribution of the core YouTube app. Google denied it was seeking any preferential treatment and claimed it was Roku that tied discussions over YouTube TV distribution with the deal to carry YouTube. For now, Roku users who have already installed YouTube TV continue to have access from the app (as long as they don’t remove it from their devices).
On Friday, YouTube provided an update on its talks with Roku.
“We’re still working to come to an agreement with Roku to ensure continued access to YouTube TV for our mutual customers,” the video giant said. “As of right now, existing YouTube TV members still have access to the app on Roku devices.”
Separately, YouTube said it is also in ongoing, long-term conversations with Roku “to certify that new devices meet our technical requirements. This certification process exists to ensure a consistent and high-quality YouTube experience across different devices, including Google’s own — so you know how to navigate the app and what to expect.”
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