Right after Roku removed YouTube TV from its platform, Google skirted around the ban by integrating YouTube TV with the core YouTube app on Roku devices. The company now plans to offer its all-in-one YouTube experience on all streaming hardware, starting with Vizio SmartCast TVs made in 2020 and later.
Brands that sell streaming hardware are unlikely to remove YouTube from their platforms, as its removal would anger most people. By tucking the YouTube TV experience within the core YouTube app, Google ensures that its customers will always have YouTube TV, regardless of what streaming hardware they own. The move may also help Google at the negotiation table, as it has one less app to worry about.
Roku was critical of this business tactic when it was announced last month, stating that Google is “blatantly leveraging its YouTube monopoly to force an independent company into an agreement that is both bad for consumers and bad for fair competition.” Vizio hasn’t commented on the development, but to be fair, Vizio isn’t in a public spat with Google.
Just here to drop a new update. 🎤 @VIZIO SmartCast users with 2020+ devices will be able to access YouTube TV on their YouTube app. Keep a lookout for this feature to hit your 📺 in the next few days.
For more info, visit ➡️ https://t.co/mBaUDpWITz
— YouTube TV (@YouTubeTV) June 2, 2021
But Vizio does have a rocky history with YouTube TV. As Engadget notes, it took a long time for Vizio SmartCast to get a YouTube TV app, which was subsequently removed and then brought back to the platform. Combining the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on SmartCast should help Google avoid any future surprises.
Google says that its combined YouTube and YouTube TV experience will arrive on 2020+ Vizio SmartCast TV devices over the coming week. Once the consolidation is complete, you can find the YouTube TV interface in a tab on the core YouTube app. Google hasn’t announced whether it will continue to support the standalone YouTube TV app on Vizio devices.