Earlier this year, we saw YouTube TV get removed from Roku over contract disputes, with the regular YouTube app set to disappear in December. To make matters worse, we’re now hearing Roku devices are about to lose another essential streaming option, and that’s Amazon Prime Video.
According to a new report by The Information, Roku is facing a similar battle with Amazon, resulting in the Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV apps potentially getting removed. As a quick recap, Roku and Google disagreed on new contract terms, and the company removed the YouTube TV app from its platform. Now several months later, they’ve yet to resolve the differences, and up next, the regular YouTube app could get pulled on December 9th.
From what we’ve gathered, Google wants special treatment that includes YouTube getting priority in search results for content, not to mention access to user data and watching habits. Both companies claim they’re in the right, and the other is the problem, and as a result, customers end up losing.
Now, a similar situation is playing out with Amazon. Apparently, Amazon wants user data too, likely to help target ads and improve its content, and Roku doesn’t want to give that information up.
“During last year’s discussions between Amazon and Roku, Amazon pushed for detailed viewing data about what Roku subscribers watch across all apps, according to people familiar with the talks. If Amazon got such data, it could match that information with what it knows about customer purchases on its site and figure out who buys goods on Amazon after seeing ads on the Roku platform.” — The Information
The report mainly targeted IMDb TV, which is bundled into Amazon Prime Video, so Roku devices could lose access to both if the two can’t find an agreement or compromise.
While Roku commented on the Google situation back in October, the company has yet to say anything regarding these new reports over Amazon Prime Video. That said, if Roku manages to lose YouTube, YouTube TV, and Amazon Prime Video all before the end of the year they’ll certainly be in a bad position moving forward.
And considering Amazon signed a contract to stream NFL games, it’s one more service Roku devices can’t afford to lose. We’ll report back once we learn more.