Traditionally, the New Year is a time for putting aside old grudges and looking towards new beginnings. However, as we step into 2018, two of the world’s biggest tech giants seem to have missed that memo.
As the war for your viewing time intensifies, companies like Google and Amazon have found themselves stuck in an uncomfortable relationship.
While each company offers their own streaming devices, they also want consumers to be able to access their services via their competitors’ technology.
In recent months, this has led to some big drama. In December 2017, Google announced that they would be withdrawing their Youtube app from Amazon Fire TV – allegedly in retaliation for Amazon’s behaviour in the past.
We’ve been trying to reach an 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.- Google statement
That same month, Amazon appeared to relent, with Chromecast finally reappearing on their virtual shelves.
However, with a 1 January deadline looming, Google followed through on their threats. In fact, some users have reported that the Youtube app was withdrawn even earlier than promised.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon has not taken the move lying down. Instead, they released a statement expressing severe concerns at the “disappointing precedent”, advising customers to use a browser to access YouTube through their streaming devices.
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 by selectively blocking customer access to an open website. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible.- Amazon statement
With both companies blaming the other for a lack of cooperation, it’s difficult to see where this latest feud will end.
And as consumers continue to see their TV viewing options limited, it seems unlikely either Google or Amazon will put their needs ahead of cache, and cold hard cash.