Google is dropping support for the Data API v2, meaning iPhones and iPads running iOS 6 or earlier and the second generation Apple TV will not be able to access YouTube.
It will also affect any multimedia players or smart TVs that were sold before 2013. Google does not normally update the API for third-party devices outside of Android and Google TV.
Apple TV is one of the best places to watch YouTube, since the dedicated app offers a much easier to navigate user interface, when compared to smart TVs that may have been published by the manufacturer and not Google.
Considering the original Apple TV and second generation are the two most popular, this may affect a large demographic of the user-base. Google never released stats for YouTube consumption on the Apple TV, but we expect it to be quite high.
Apple does not offer a web browser on the Apple TV, meaning users will not have a secondary option for viewing YouTube videos. Unless Google decides to bring its new API onto the Apple TV - which may be impossible - we suspect the best course of action is to buy the newer version of the Apple TV.
Google is not attacking Apple’s own hardware, in fact its own Google boxes and TVs are also affected. YouTube will be unavailable for those on v2, and those on anything higher still need to update the system in order to get access to the service.
YouTube is one of the most popular services in the world, but Netflix has shown better numbers when it comes to peak video traffic, especially in the US. Google cutting off customers after 18 months might seem reasonable in the life of a smartphone, but for TVs this does seem rather early.