Over the last few months, a rift between Google and Amazon started to expand. Caught in the crosshairs are owners of Echo Show and Fire TV devices who found themselves with no access to YouTube after Google cut off the service on those Amazon devices. Possibly underestimating consumer backlash, Amazon is moving to start selling Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra devices on the Amazon web site in what some are describing is an “olive branch” extended by Amazon.
Disagreements between Amazon and Google have affected market availability for hardware and software for a few years now. About two years ago Amazon decided to stop selling Chromecast devices through their online shopping site. Amazon has also been rather tight with regard to their Amazon Prime Video service with limited availability on Android devices and blocking streaming to Chromecast devices despite having a fully functional app for their own Android-powered Fire devices. Amazon also moved to stop selling Nest and Google Home devices on their site. Throughout all of these moves, Google has pretty much just stayed the course and focused on selling their goods and services.
That strategy started to change this fall when Google started to pull back on YouTube on Amazon devices. The company cited some licensing violations as well as a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon. Basically, it appears Google decided they had enough from Amazon.
On the Amazon side, besides pressure from an increasingly large pool of consumers who suddenly found YouTube unavailable on their devices, the company is also trying to push their Prime Video service to be able to compete with other content providers and serve up original programming. Possibly someone in Amazon figured out that they may be cutting off access to potential customers by limiting platform availability.
Just last week, Amazon made their Prime Video app and service available to Apple TV owners, Apple being another company that Amazon had been butting heads with over access. Following up on that move, Amazon is also adding Apple TV devices back in the mix of goods they sell on their site along with the new Chromecast entries.
Google says the company is “in productive discussions with Amazon to reach an agreement for the benefit of our mutual customers. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”