Growing feud with Amazon: new devices have mysteriously disappeared

Gregory FrenchDec 10, 20173 8466 votes +4 rating

Three months ago, YouTube pulled its programming from Amazon’s Echo Show device – the first skirmish in what is apparently an ongoing war. Shortly after, Amazon stopped selling the Nest E Thermostat, Nest’s Camera IQ, and the Nest Secure alarm system. Two weeks ago, Amazon got YouTube back on the Echo Show by simply directing users to the web version, a workaround that left a lot to be desired. But even that version won’t be available after today.

© Article’s author: Ben Popper.
© Source: The Verge

New Nest devices have mysteriously disappeared from Amazon

User’s reaction in social media:

It actually has always been using Bing for a while. When it can’t answer a question, it shows you Bing results in the app. This is why Google is so afraid of the Echo. The Echo is easier to use than Google in someone’s house. Instead of opening a device and Googling something, they are afraid people are going to start just asking Alexa. Part of the reason Google is unhappy here is because they were desperately attempting to create a Google Home with a screen to compete with the Echo Show in time for the holidays. When it became apparent they can’t do it in time for a 2017 release, they made up this policy out of spite. There is spite both ways of course but in this specific instance they are upset over the potential market loss. It’s the first time they see a threat in any capacity to their search business.

In a statement this afternoon, a YouTube spokesperson announced that the company was withdrawing support for its service on both the Echo Show and, more importantly, Amazon’s Fire TV:

“​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.”

User’s reaction in social media:

Amazon is a store. Stores pick what they want to sell. Especially for a physical product that has associated storage and handling costs. Walmart or BestBuy could choose to stop selling Google devices and be no different. the Google Store doesn’t sell anything but Google hardware. Stores get to pick what they sell. Youtube is not a store, it is a service that Google is choosing to block a valid customer of that complies with their terms of use and api requirements. At this point they’re specifically blocking a certain web browser from loading the site. How would you feel if Google blocked Firefox, or Hulu or Netflix blocked Chrome?

YouTube will be pulled from the Echo Show today. Customers who own an Fire TV will start seeing a notification today warning them that the service will be unavailable as of January 1st, 2018. Perhaps Google is hoping that the threat of losing YouTube on its main streaming device will force Amazon to negotiate a truce both sides can live with before the new year.

User’s reaction in social media:

Amazon is not just a store. They are a manufacturer of tech products, a media content giant, and they are unfairly leveraging their ownership of the biggest store in the world to legally eliminate competition. Google has every right to fight back and demand reciprocity! The fact that this goes against Google’s core culture just shows how underhanded and uncompetitive Amazon’s practices have been in a long time. Considering what Amazon does when you ask Alexa, Google should direct all search requests for Amazon branded products to their closest competition.

There was a time when Amazon offered their app store within the Amazon shopping app. An entire app store within the guise of a shopping app. One, where 99.9% of the apps were duplicates of ones in the Play Store. Is anyone surprised that app got kicked? It was allowed back in once the Amazon app store functionality was removed.

For bonus points, try asking Alexa to order you a Chromecast and see how she responds. I was offered a Fire TV stick, then a Roku, before she ran out of options.

Total: 2 comments
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  1. Trevory Mogger
    2017-12-10, 12:36PM
    You're reading a little too far into it and making too much of something that's not really the case. Google doesn't want to not be the best search engine but you have to understand that in no way is the number of searches on Amazon devices which default to Bing anywhere near putting pressure on Google's search business or likely to anytime soon.

    Google is not afraid of the Echo anymore than they're afraid of the Kindle Fire or Fire sticks. I'm sure they would love to have an equivalent competing product but the reason for that is they get to control the system.

    They pulled YouTube originally because Amazon built it themselves to circumvent the features Google put in place to drive revenue - you know, literally every part of YouTube that goes alongside the video content. Amazon doesn't want to work with Google to build the app appropriately and Google is pulling the plug because it's basically a pirate broadcast and allowing Amazon to do it encourages others to try similar in the future.

    In that situation, Google gets blamed for any features that don't work properly or which don't produce revenue the way they should (ads, selling movies, etc.). YouTube is a massive product and anything that takes control away from Google whittles away at it even if it facially seems pro-consumer. The last thing Google wants is for YouTube to suddenly become a public utility or become generic because they're expected to provide everyone access to the videos however they want to jack into the feed.
  2. Gregory French
    Author: Gregory FrenchJournalist
    2017-12-10, 12:19PM
    Hmmm... Streaming Amazon Prime on Chrome on my Pixel phone right now. So no Amazon is not blocking that. Also, Amazon doesn't block Chromecast. You can't block something that is not there. Google can't write their code into the Amazon video app. Thats like saying Microsoft is blocking Gmail on their Windows 10 store.
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