Mere days after the little tussle between Google and Amazon seemed to be clearing up, the two companies are apparently at it once again.
Two weeks ago Google allowed YouTube to return to the Amazon Echo Show after pulling the service in September, when the company cited a “broken user experience” compared to what you find online and in Google-made apps.
Amazon’s solution was largely a case of having the Show display YouTube as if it were on a desktop browser, which was far from ideal, but it seemed to make everyone happy until a better solution could be developed.
That’s no longer the case. Google today announced that it’s yanking YouTube off the Echo Show again. To make matters worse, it’s also yanking YouTube app support from the Amazon Fire TV. From Google’s point of view, Amazon didn’t respond to the situation with the same degree of goodwill.
“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 to TechRadar. “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 Fire TV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”
Your YouTube app on the Fire TV won’t be cut off until January 1, but unfortunately YouTube access on the Echo Show will be pulled again sometime this afternoon.
Losing YouTube on the Echo Show was always arguably just an inconvenience, but the move will hurt far more on the Fire TV, which is specifically made for streaming visual media. It’s a bold play on Google’s part, and one that will likely get some kind of response from Amazon.
As Google stated, Amazon responded to YouTube connectivity being pulled from the Show by taking some of Google’s (or rather, parent company Alphabet’s) remaining branded devices off its retail site. Amazon already doesn’t offer many of Google’s devices that compete with its own products (nor Apple’s, for that matter), so pulling a comparatively non-mainstream device like Nest Thermostat E was just salt in the wound.
Maybe this could have been avoided if Amazon had simply relisted the Nest devices, but it’s not clear.