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YouTube restrictions latest in Google and Amazon feud

Google has announced it will remove its YouTube service from Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices, as well as its Echo Show smart-home device, effective January 1, 2018. The announcement is the most recent in a months-long feud between the tech giants.

Three months ago, in September, YouTube withdrew its service from Amazon’s Echo Show, claiming the implementation on the device violated Youtube's Terms of Service. Shortly after, in a suspected form of retaliation, Amazon stopped carrying many of Google’s smart home devices and provided a workaround for the lack of a YouTube app by directing users straight to the website.

It's also important to note Amazon video services are not supported on Google’s Chromecast streaming device.

In a statement provided to tech site The Verge, a YouTube spokesperson commented on the announcement saying, “Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make Prime video available for Google Vast 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.”

It's this “lack of reciprocity” that is most alarming, and the consumer is paying for it. 

The continuing upward trend of streaming as the main form of entertainment means streaming device sales are an important market, especially with the holidays fast approaching. 

Amazon's success as an e-retailer came by allowing access to all goods in one easy convenient place. Refusing to carry its competitors devices is a diversion from that goal and sends a clear message that to watch its video service you need one of its devices.

The muddying of the waters means that to find an all-in-one device, that is one that provides access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and YouTube; the Roku and Apple TV are the only streaming devices left that provide unhindered access. Amazon doesn't sell the Apple TV either.


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