Google blocks YouTube access from Amazon's streaming devices

Yolanda Curtis
December 7, 2017

That includes Google's Chromecast streaming device, an alternative to Fire TV, and an internet-connected speaker called Home, which is trying to catch up to Amazon's market-leading Echo.

In September, Google cut off YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show, which had displayed videos on its touchscreen without video recommendations, channel subscriptions and other features.

"YouTube is all about maximising the number of people who see its content, and Amazon wants to be the so-called "everything store", he said, but in the end it is consumers who will bear the brunt of commercial tensions between the two companies.

All of which means that Amazon and Google can safely invest in the Apple ecosystem, without fear that they're creating an existential threat. They also both offer corporate cloud-computing services, a market where Amazon leads by a wide margin.

Amazon stopped selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast devices in 2015, a year after it launched Fire TV. While it doesn't seem that the streaming video service will support Google Cast streaming anytime soon, at least those in Apple's ecosystem will be able to take advantage of the thousands of TV shows and movies that are available on the service. If you own a Fire Stick you know that it runs a modded web interface of Google and when you play videos on it, you seldom get ads.

On Tuesday, Google said it would cut off Amazon's Fire TV streaming devices from YouTube, starting on January 1.

If you have an Apple TV or similar device, you can use the iOS app to stream content directly to your TV, whilst we wait for the native Apple TV Prime Video app. Google is miffed by the fact that it is losing ad revenue from Fire TV which was the best selling streaming device in U.S. and India.

Amazon said in a statement, "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website". Amazon has sold that device for longer than the Echo Show, meaning more customers may now be affected. Amazon later reintroduced YouTube to the device, but the voice commands it added violated the use terms and on Tuesday Google again removed the service.

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