YouTube TV finally launches on Roku

The announcement said YouTube TV will be available on “select Roku devices” in the 80 markets in which the service is distributed. (Roku)

YouTube TV will finally launch on the No. 1 OTT platform in the U.S., Roku, the two companies jointly announced.

According to a recent CNBC report, Google has amassed around 300,000 users for its virtual MVPD service, which launched last spring. However, YouTube TV has been alone among major vMPVD services in being shut out of Roku.

The announcement said YouTube TV will be available on “select Roku devices” in the 80 markets in which the service is distributed. As noted by Multichannel News, YouTube TV is playable on the following Roku models: Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Streaming Stick (3800x and 3600x), Roku Express/Express+ (3910x, 3900x, 3710x, 3700x), Roku Premiere+, Roku Premiere, Roku 4, Roku 3 (4200x, 4230x) and Roku 2 (4210x).

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YouTube TV features available on Roku include a cloud DVR with unlimited storage. Up to five people in the household can watch the service simultaneously using their own login credentials. 

Selling for a base price of $35 a month, YouTube Live is competing in a highly competitive market that also includes Hulu Live and Sony PlayStation, satellite TV-operated services Sling  TV and DirecTV Now, and startups including fuboTV. 

So far, the oldest of these platforms, Sling TV, has built the largest user base at around 2 million, but AT&T just announced that DirecTV Now has around 1.2 million customers. 

With most of the services offering the same basic sets of major broadcast and cable networks, and each selling for around $35-$40 a month, operators have prioritized availability of local broadcast channels.

But distribution is key, too, with services vying to be accessible not only on the major mobile platforms, iOS and Android, but also on major OTT platforms like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast and Xbox One. 

YouTube TV is already available on Chromecast, Apple TV (via AirPlay adapter), Android TV and Xbox.