There’s a battle raging between Roku and Google-owned YouTube, and Roku users are caught in the middle. On December 9, 2021, Google will remove the YouTube app from the Roku store, which means no one else can download it to their device after that date.
Update, 12/8/21: Roku and Google have reached an agreement, which means YouTube and YouTube TV won’t be leaving the Roku platform. The deal was finalized and announced one day before the app was pulled.
Google already pulled the YouTube TV app from the Roku store, but removing the main YouTube app would be a far more significant blow. YouTube TV is a relatively expensive subscription-based service. In losing the main YouTube app, Roku users would be losing one of the largest free entertainment services on the internet, substantially decreasing Roku devices’ value.
There’s still a chance Roku and Google could come to an agreement before December 9, but considering the companies have been going at it for some time and Google has already pulled one of its apps, it’s best to prepare for the worst and make sure you have the YouTube app downloaded to your Roku devices before it’s removed.
That means that you can’t factory reset your Roku device if you run into problems, as you’d lose the YouTube app. If you value watching YouTube on your TV, make sure to protect that YouTube app and keep it installed until Google and Roku work things out (if they ever do).