Google is blocking access to YouTube on two Amazon devices.
The company has announced that YouTube access for both Fire TV and Echo Show owners will be halted on January 1st. The news comes as tensions between Google and Amazon escalate.
The precise reasons behind the disagreement vary by report, although Variety claims that Google believes Amazon’s layering of unauthorised voice control functions onto the YouTube web app is a violation of its terms of service. Indeed, Google had previously blocked Echo Show compatibility, only for Amazon to discover a workaround last month.
Other reports instead point to Amazon’s decision to stop selling the Google Chromecast, which competes with its own Fire TV product. Previous to this, the Chromecast had been the site’s top-selling streaming product. Amazon doesn’t stock other Google products such as the Home smart speaker, either.
Google’s own statement on the move certainly leans into this argument, too.
“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,” a Google statement said.
“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.”
Google’s decision to fight back with a YouTube block is likely to be effective, too, as sales of the Echo Show dipped following the previous YouTube block.
Amazon added to Variety: “Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing website. Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible.”