A Roku remote laying on a table

Anyone who purchases a Roku streaming device after December 9 will find that the YouTube app is missing. This is because Roku and Google have some significant disagreements that will see the YouTube app removed from Roku’s platform.

The feud between Google and Roku has been going for some time, with YouTube TV already being removed from Roku’s platform. Now, it looks like the regular YouTube app, which is extremely popular on Roku, will be removed from the platform as well, as reported by Axios. This would be a rather unfortunate blow for Roku users in the future.

Thankfully, the app will be available for existing Roku users until December 9, 2021, and the company will continue to update the app for existing users. So, even if the two companies aren’t able to reach a deal, users with Roku devices will keep enjoying the app.

Google issued a statement on the negotiations, and the company said:

Since our negotiations with Roku earlier this year, we’ve continued to work with them to find a resolution that benefits our mutual users. Roku has once again chosen to make unproductive and baseless claims rather than try to work constructively with us. Since we haven’t been able to continue our conversations in good faith, our partnership for all new Roku devices will unfortunately end on December 9. We are, however, giving Roku the ability to continue distributing both YouTube and YouTube TV apps to all existing users to make sure they are not impacted.

Roku also put out a blog post regarding the situation, and as is usually the case with these kinds of disputes, the companies have entirely different perspectives on what’s happening:

As we shared in April, the threat remains that Google may remove YouTubeTV from the Roku platform. We continue to believe that streamers stand to benefit from Google and Roku reaching a fair agreement and we remain committed to trying to achieve that goal. For Roku, this is about maintaining our independence, protecting our customers, and ensuring healthy competition in the streaming industry that benefits millions of consumers.

When it comes down to these types of disputes between companies, the customers are the ones who ultimately end up losing, as they aren’t able to get access to the content they want.

While it’s nice that Google will continue to update the app for existing users, with the holiday shopping season right around the corner, there could be a lot of disappointed Roku buyers who can’t get one of the biggest video platforms on the internet on their new devices.

Of course, there’s always a chance the two companies could meet in the middle between now and the deadline, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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