Owners of Amazon’s Echo Show device found themselves cut off from their favourite YouTube videos Tuesday, with the device instead telling them that Google was “currently not supporting” the video service on the device. The disappearance of YouTube from the Echo Show, which was first reported by The Verge, is just the latest instance of an escalating conflict between the two companies.
Amazon was quick to blame Google Tuesday, telling media that Google unilaterally started blocking access to its video service that afternoon:
“Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers,” the company said in a statement. “There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers.”
Google shot back and said that it turned off access to YouTube for the Echo Show because Amazon’s implementation had violated Google’s terms of service:
“We’ve been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms,” Google said in a statement. “Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon.”
It’s true that the companies have had disagreements for some time. Case in point: Amazon’s Fire TV never received an official YouTube app, and is instead using a web-based implementation.
Fire tablets and TVs also don’t carry any other Google apps, despite being based on Google’s Android operating system. However, Amazon decided to not license Android from Google but instead used the open source components of the operating system in order to keep itself independent of Google’s services.
That never went over well with Google, and also resulted in Amazon not supporting many of Google’s devices and services. Amazon’s media apps are for instance not compatible with Google’s Chromecast streaming device, and the Amazon Video app isn’t distributed on Google’s Play Store.
Relationships reached a low point in late 2015 when Amazon stopped swelling Google’s Chromecast streaming device. At the time, Amazon also booted Apple TV from its website. However, more recently, the company recently struck a deal with Apple to once again carry the device, and also make its video app available to Apple TV users.
Google clearly wants Amazon to strike a similar deal. But the dispute between the two companies goes deeper — and now extended to the Echo Show as well.