Google’s spat with Amazon has raged on throughout the holiday season with no signs of stopping. Google started by pulling the YouTube app from Amazon’s Echo Show smart speaker back in September, claiming the device’s implementation of YouTube “violates [Google’s] terms of service, creating a broken user experience.” Things have only gotten worse for their shared customer base since then.
Amazon initially attempted to skirt the app’s removal by implementing what was essentially a 1-to-1 replication of the YouTube desktop website onto the device. Google once again cracked down and YouTube was pulled from the device a second time. Upon YouTube’s second deactivation, Google escalated the situation even further, stating that YouTube would be pulled from all Fire TV devices starting on January 1.
Unfortunately for users, that removal is happening a little sooner than they’d been led to believe.
Starting today, Fire TV owners will no longer be able to access YouTube via its dedicated app. Instead, users are being shown a message prompting them to “Access YouTube and millions of other websites by using a web browser such as Firefox or Silk.”
As we’ve noted in the past, neither company holds all the blame in this corporate dispute. Google and Amazon have both pulled product and software support from each other’s stores during the latter half of 2017.
Indeed, according to a statement offered by a YouTube spokesperson earlier this month, Amazon has already removed numerous Nest products from their storefront and they do not sell certain Google products at all:
“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.”
Regardless of which company may be at fault in the end, it’s their customers that ultimately lose.