Google Puts The Kibosh On Roku YouTube Channel

Roku users looking to watch YouTube videos from their TVs are out of luck.  You can still use Roku to watch everything from Netflix to Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and more, but Roku users can no longer access YouTube after Google requested that the Roku YouTube channel be removed.

It should be noted that Roku never had an official YouTube channel.  Rather, they offered a third-party application, created by The Nowhere Man, which allowed users to access YouTube videos from their Roku players.  The Roku YouTube channel can be seen in action in the YouTube video below:

The third-party Roku YouTube app used to be available on the Roku Support site.  The question, “Can I access YouTube on my Roku player?” was answered with, “Roku does not have an official YouTube channel in its Channel Store.  However, it is possible to add a third-party developed YouTube application as a private channel here.”  The link to the third-party app has been removed and a new note has been added that says, “At the request of YouTube, this private channel is no longer available on Roku.”

According to  Dave Zatz of, the Roku YouTube channel appears to remain functional for those who have already installed it.  However, no new users will be able to add the channel. That being said, Zatz reached out to Roku who told him “we received a takedown notice from YouTube’s legal team and are in the midst of negotiations with them.”  Perhaps the negotiations will lead to the reinstatement of the channel, but only time will tell.  Roku says they hope to have more information to share with their community in the coming week.

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Google requested that the private YouTube channel be taken down.  After all, Roku is direct competition for Google TV and the lack of YouTube on connected TV services like Roku does give Google TV a bit of an edge up.

But if you ask me, I think it would make sense for Google to allow YouTube videos to be streamed on Roku.  After all—more distribution channels equals more views which equals more revenue, right?  What do you think?  Should Roku users be able to stream YouTube videos on their TV sets?  Or is Google right to request the takedown of the private YouTube channel?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.