YouTube Gone From Amazon Devices
Alphabet’s Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has followed through on its threat to block Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) devices from accessing YouTube. The Google action affects all Fire TV devices, as well as the Echo Show, Amazon’s smart speaker device with a screen. Some users lost access as early as last week.
The spat that led to the loss of YouTube access began after Amazon stopped allowing several Google products to be sold on their site, including Google Chromecast, Google Home, and some of the newest Nest products. Google’s video streaming products like Chromecast compete with its Fire TV sticks, while Google’s “Home” products compete with Amazon’s Echo range. Amazon is also blocking Chromecast users from using Amazon Video.
In December, Amazon briefly relisted Google’s products on its store, but they appear to have been delisted again. If you search for Google Chromecast on the site, Amazon offers its own and cheap imports as alternatives. Since Amazon isn’t allowing Google’s products to be sold on its site, Google won’t allow Amazon products to access YouTube.
Google released a statement saying, “We’ve been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services. But Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn’t make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest’s latest products. Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV.”
There may also be other issues at play. Tensions have mounted between the two tech giants as their businesses continue to overlap. Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch is reportedly trying to get streamers to jump from YouTube to its service by offering better payment options. Amazon released a statement saying, “Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible.”
As of now, the Echo Show and Fire TV display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing website. YouTube app shortcut prompts users to install a web browser, giving the user the options of Firefox and Silk, with Google Chrome noticeably absent. Using the Android TV app for YouTube is another way to circumvent the Amazon block.