Google has announced that it will be no longer be supporting YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show (starting today) or its Fire TV starting January 1st. Google’s decision was apparently based on Amazon’s unwillingness to work together to create a level playing field for both companies.
“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,” a spokesperson from Google said in a statement. “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.”
One of the major issues that led to the dispute had been the fact that Amazon implemented what was essentially a hacked version of YouTube on both the Echo Show and Fire TV, reported Engadget who cited sources with knowledge of the situation. Instead of working with Google to develop a version of its app that works on Amazon’s devices, Amazon tried to do it solo — a move that most likely impacted Google’s ability to collect on some of the ad revenue that comes from its videos.
In response to Google’s statement Amazon released one of its own:
“Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing website. 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.”
For a long time YouTube has dominated the smart phone, but in recent years — thanks in large to the availability of smart TVs and devices like Roku — the company grown its presence on TV sets. In 2016, YouTube’s viewership on TV screens grew 90% compared to 2015, according to the Google-owned company.
“Our fastest-growing area is the big screen, the TV,” explained YouTube’s head of living room products Sarah Ali in an interview with Adage.
With many consumers now buying streaming sticks and smart TVs with YouTube in mind, this new move by Google is likely to have a negative impact on the sales of the Echo Show and Fire TV this Christmas and beyond.