An Open Letter to Roku, YouTube TV, and Google

Waking up to the news that Roku and YouTube TV are duking it out is especially frustrating when YouTube TV is how I watch TV.

It’s frustrating because this isn’t the first time they’ve done this. No, last year–they prevented Roku users from being able to watch Peacock and HBO Max on our devices for several months. When one’s livelihood revolves around watching TV and film, having Roku block access to a streaming services is very frustrating. I don’t watch TV on my laptop–there’s more buffering and I’m at the point where unless I can watch a press screener directly on my TV, it’s just not gonna happen to the filmmakers. No offense but you don’t want me frustration from the frequent buffering. Put it this way–I can only cover Sony press screeners via the Apple TV app, not my laptop. But I digress.

All the articles from the trades suggest Google is committing predatory practices and this doesn’t surprise me. They want more of their customer data. Honestly, if this is the case, I’d be fighting it, too! If you ask me, what Google is doing is committing a predatory practice. Even if it means Roku dropping YouTube TV and causing more frustration on subscribers, this is a fight where I agree with Roku. The other thing here is that it seems Google wants Roku to update devices. Are we going to reach a point where the app will be unusable unless we buy a new Roku TV?!? What the hell?!?

Will Apple agree to the same fakakta terms that Google wants Roku to agree with? I don’t know. However, my Apple TV device is going to be the ONLY way that I’ll be watching YouTube TV once the current agreement comes to an end. It’s a shame because it’s very frustrating having to turn two devices on and off each day. If Apple TV becomes my primary device for watching TV, I’m going to be less likely to pull out the HDMI cable and connect to my TV to watch press screeners. For transparency purposes, I would not own an Apple TV if not for my membership in the Critics Choice Association.

Google, please take a step back. Do the right thing here and do not require access to sensitive search data. It’s only going to make things worse. Please take it down a notch and agree to a deal already!

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.