Amazon and Roku avoid public slapping match with multi-year agreement
Cable-style carriage disputes seemed like a thing of the past in this new age of streaming services, but paid placement or subsidized devices can spark the same public fights between large companies. Roku spent much of 2021 fighting with Google over YouTube and YouTube TV access, but thankfully, that has now been avoided with Amazon services.
Roku announced a new multi-year deal with Amazon on Monday. The company said in a press release, “Roku and Amazon have reached a multi-year extension for their distribution agreement. Customers can continue to access the Prime Video and IMDb TV apps on their Roku devices.” Roku declined to say the terms of the agreement.
The Information reported in October that Roku and Amazon were nearing the end of their distribution deal, and given Roku’s battle with Google at the same time, Roku customers losing access to Prime Video seemed like a possibility. Thankfully, this time around, negotiations didn’t lead to public fighting involving the customers of both companies — a common element of carriage disputes for decades.
Roku and Google disputed terms for YouTube and YouTube TV on Roku devices for nearly all of last year, which led to Roku pulling the YouTube TV app from its devices for a few months and Google threatening to block access to YouTube on Roku products. The companies finally reached a new deal in December, which should keep both YouTube and YouTube TV accessible on Roku devices for several years.
Roku just released an update for its TV operating system last month, Roku OS 11, which added new pages on the home screen and A/V features. The company is also reportedly working on its own line of Roku-branded smart TVs, even though Roku has only ever sold set-top boxes and streaming sticks (and licensed the OS to TV manufacturers).