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Roku settles YouTube dispute and locks down apps in ‘multi-year’ deal

Roku settles YouTube dispute and locks down apps in ‘multi-year’ deal


Google and Roku reach an agreement on YouTube and YouTube TV

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Roku has reached a deal with Google to continue distributing the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on its platform. The two had been at odds over a contract extension, sparring over what Roku described as onerous demands by Google for more data and more prominent placement on its devices.

If they hadn’t reached an agreement by tomorrow, Google planned to pull the YouTube app from Roku — a loss for basically everyone involved, but especially Roku users who would have no longer been able to download a key video service.

“This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform,” Dallas Lawrence, a Roku spokesperson, wrote in an email to The Verge. Google confirmed the deal to The Verge and said both apps will be available through the Roku store.

Roku described the deal as a “multi-year extension” for YouTube and YouTube TV. YouTube TV was pulled by Roku from its channel store in April as tensions between the two parties escalated. After months of stalled negotiations, Google said in late October that it would pull the YouTube app on December 9th if a deal hadn’t been reached.