After receiving some frustrating email this weekend, I begin this week with a rant.
Over two years ago, I cut the cord with our cable company. OK, I didn’t cut, as in sever, the cord, I made an incision and excised a significant portion of the cord which had become malignant. I can’t really cut the cord, because, among other reasons, the cord connects me to the Internet. The streaming services which I subscribed to replace my cable company’s line up, all rely on the Internet to reach my TV.
To make my life simpler, those services are received and consolidated locally and distributed to my TV via a Roku device. Now, it seems, Roku and YouTube TV (Google) are in a p*ssing contest over who gets to watch what I’m watching and who gets more money.
My data and more money.
That’s what this is about, my data and more money. Specifically, data about what I choose to watch on my TV and more of my money flowing into the greedy hands of networks, device makes, service providers, sports teams, telecommunication companies and conglomerates who proclaim, “Don’t be evil” and espouse “optimism”, “innovation”, “decency”, “blah, blah, blah.”
Since I pruned my cable company’s connection to my TV, YouTube TV has increased its monthly fee by 214%. Disney, which owns a majority stake in Hulu and ESPN, has raised the price for streaming those services and moved some content from ESPN to ESPN+ in order to “encourage” me to subscribe to the latter. Although every vendor claims to want to help me save money, they are all adding expensive, albeit thinner slices to the media pie. $4.99 here, $5.99 there, a 5% raise over here, a 15% raise on this corner. During the pandemic, when media services were just about the only entertainment we had, although nothing new was being produced, and while people were losing their jobs left and right, YouTube TV (Google) raised my monthly fee over 20%. Now, the Goliaths seem to be at an impasse, and the fight is over money and data.
Our goal with YouTube TV is to offer you the content you love, delivered in the way you want — including on all of your favorite devices. To make this happen, we enter into agreements with partners in order to enable access to YouTube TV via different devices.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to reach an agreement with Roku. We continue to offer Roku the opportunity to renew the YouTube TV deal under the existing, reasonable terms.
And in the other well-lit towering corner, Roku says:
Dear Roku Customer,
We are disappointed to share the news that Google has chosen to let the YouTube TV contract expire…blah-blah-blah
We will always stand up for our users, which is why we cannot accept Google’s unfair and anticompetitive requirements that would allow for the manipulation of your search results, impact the usage of your data and ultimately cost you more.
If in fact, Roku and YouTube TV (Google – I keep pointing that out because, Google) reach an agreement, it will be because one of them will be paying the other one of them more money. But considering where they get their money, the potential solution does not bode well for me.
At a point when the content available across these media platforms is perhaps the lamest it has ever been, they all want more money, and they all want to profit from my data. I doubt Roku is trying to protect my privacy. More likely, they are trying to keep the ability to violate my privacy to themselves. They all want to profit by infringing on my privacy.
Roku, how does it feel? In one greedy move, you have convinced me to NEVER purchase a Roku TV.
You see, I can easily walk away from your little transponder thingie. It’s been here for two years and I can throw it out with my next batch of batteries at the electronics recycling center in town. However, a TV that becomes worthless because you will not let me access my streaming service provider??? That’s a lot harder to deal with. Therefore, I will never take that chance.
Google, how does it feel? You have conducted yourself in a manner that makes a cable company look like the good guy.