The battle between Google and Amazon has been heating up lately, and now it has reached a whole new level, as Google has announced that it is terminating YouTube support for both the Echo Show and Amazon Fire TV. That’s a huge blow to Amazon’s product line-up, with YouTube being the most popular video platform in the world, and one of the most downloaded apps on the Fire TV.
Google may be the ones pulling support, but it’s doing so in retaliation to some of Amazon’s business practices. The retailer has recently began removing some of Nest’s products, while it has also refused to sell products such as the Chromecast or Google Home, both of which directly compete with Amazon’s own offerings. That’s despite selling third-party smart speakers from the likes of Sonos and Onkyo, and set-top boxes from Roku and Nvidia.
“We’ve been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
“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 Fire TV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”
Google never officially launched a YouTube app for either the Fire TV or Echo Show, and it was in fact a hacked version of the service created by Amazon. That’s supposedly caused fricition between the search engine giant and the retailer, with Amazon’s YouTube app cutting out key features that are available on other platforms, as well as potentially causing issues with Google’s ability to collect advertising revenue. Google has supposedly been willing to work with Amazon on creating an official app, but only if the company reciprocates by supporting some of its standards – such as Google Cast support on Prime Video.
Amazon has shown willingness to work with competitors before. The company has already revealed that its video streaming platform, Amazon Prime, will be available on the Apple TV in the near future, meaning it could be open to working with Google at some point in the future. The two companies haven’t had the best relationship, however. Amazon decided against using Google’s version of Android on its smartphone and tablet offerings, and has avoided the search engine at all costs. Alexa and Fire tablets both use Bing, and the two companies have largely competed in the online retail space.
YouTube is set to cease working on January 1, unless a deal can be reached. Amazon has blasted Google for its threats, however. The retailer notes that “Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing website,” which means Google will simply target the devices rather than the app itself.
“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,” the statement concludes.