Roku removed the YouTube TV app, but Google has a way around it

Brittany A. Roston - May 7, 2021, 7:10pm CDT
Roku removed the YouTube TV app, but Google has a way around it

It seems Roku and Google are the latest platforms in a squabble over YouTube, this one concerning the YouTube TV app in particular. A dispute between the two companies resulted in Roku removing the YouTube TV app listing from its platform around a week ago, but now Google is back with a change to the main app that gets around the issue.

Roku users can no longer find the YouTube TV app on the platform, but existing installations of the app remain. That means if you’re a new YouTube TV customer who hasn’t already downloaded the app, you’ll have to look to other platforms to use it…or take advantage of the new YouTube TV feature within the main YouTube app.

Only days after the app’s removal, Google has updated its main YouTube app on the Roku platform to include direct access to the YouTube TV platform. This means the service’s customers will no longer need to download a dedicated YouTube TV app in order to watch the live TV offering with their Roku set-top box, stick, or smart TV.

If you’re a Roku device owner and YouTube TV subscriber, you’ll be able to access the subscription in the main YouTube app on Roku in the next few days. If this sounds familiar, that’s because this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a company use a workaround in the midst of a dispute.

Back during the Amazon and Google feud in 2017, Google removed YouTube from the Fire TV platform, but Amazon got around this by prompting YouTube users to open the video platform’s website in its web browser. It’s unclear how long this fight between Google and Roku will last, but until then, look for the YouTube TV link in the left-hand side of the main YouTube Roku app.


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