Google to block YouTube from Fire TV and Echo Show
The fall-out from a content availability spat between Amazon and Google is set hit to owners of the Echo Show and Fire TV devices hard in January 2018, with Google to block them from accessing YouTube.
In making the announcement, Google pointed the finger of blame directly at Amazon by effectively calling them out as anti-competitive for its unwillingness to support Google’s products and services on its devices and via the Amazon online store.
“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. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”
Amazon were quick to respond with the following, in a statement made to Variety, although they didn’t really address Google’s issues:
“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.”
This latest row follows a disagreement between the two in September when Google blocked Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show. Amazon eventually got it working again in November but it’s thought, in doing so, somehow violated YouTube’s terms of services.
Clearly the loss of YouTube from the Fire TV ultimately harms the consumer more than anyone so let’s hope some agreement can be reached but it looks like, for now, Google is playing hard ball while Amazon assesses its next step.
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