First it was Google that took a swipe at Roku, threatening to take YouTube, the most popular video-streaming service in the U.S., off Roku devices if the two companies couldn’t resolve a dispute. Now Roku is facing a battle with another tech giant, Amazon.
The deal that lets Roku carry Amazon’s free ad-supported channel, IMDb TV, is up for renewal early next year, The Information has learned. Negotiations over the renewal could blow up into a major fight as both companies jostle to expand their advertising businesses, in part by using data drawn from their streaming platforms. While IMDb is not a must-have channel—Roku could drop it without much impact on its viewership—Amazon packaged IMDB with its much-more popular Prime Video subscription service when the two companies negotiated the existing arrangement in 2019. Roku had to take both or neither.