by Dan Moren
Google removes YouTube from Amazon’s Echo Show. Again.
Engadget’s Nathan Ingraham reports:
“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 FireTV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”
This is the second time Google has blocked access, though the story also suggests that Amazon’s implementations of YouTube on the Fire TV and Echo Show were workarounds, rather than Google’s own versions of the apps.
If all of this sounds familiar, though, it’s probably because Amazon has also been in a longstanding tiff over offering a Prime Video app for the Apple TV and, in return, refused to sell Apple TVs. That moratorium is supposed to come to a close by the end of the year; exactly six months ago today, Tim Cook stood up on stage at WWDC and said a Prime app would appear on Apple TV before 2018, though with less than month to go before that deadline expires, everybody’s wondering what the heck is going on.
Long story short, everybody’s got their turf they’re trying to protect. And guess who gets caught in the middle? If you thought “consumers,” you win a prize! That prize is having three set-top boxes attached to your TV so you can watch all the content you want to.
Update: Amazon has now fired back with its own statement, provided to The Verge among others:
“Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website,” a spokesperson told The Verge by email. “We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible.”
Not that Amazon is innocent in this either: remember, the company ditched the Chromecast from its store at the same time as the Apple TV, in both cases because the devices didn’t support Prime Video…which is Amazon’s choice. So, yeah. Nobody looks great here.