Rather than maintain two separate applications, Google is consolidating its cord-cutting service into the main YouTube app. The “Go to YouTube TV” shortcut is accessible at the very bottom of the left sidebar and launches the usual interface.
In announcing this workaround at the start of May, Google said it would expand the unified experience to as many devices as it could. The original purpose was to let new YouTube TV subscribers watch on Roku devices, as well as making sure there’s a way for existing members to watch if the standalone app was removed as part of the dispute.
The first expansion is to Vizio SmartCast devices from 2020 and later. This is despite the fact that YouTube TV is pre-installed on the Vizio platform.
The integrated experience will be available in the “next few days.” It’s not clear what will happen to the client that’s already installed. Google will presumably be getting rid of it to prevent user confusion and conserve development resources.
From an end user perspective, this results in a simplified experience for all things YouTube. YouTube Music is already part of the main app on Android TV, while YouTube TV only has around 3 million users compared to the much larger user base of the main service. Meanwhile, on the business front, platform owners would be very hesitant to not renew deals lest their users lose the popular video app.
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