Amazon Technology

Amazon And Google Spar Over YouTube  

Amazon and Google are in a rare public fight over Amazon’s Echo Show device, which, as of Wednesday (Sept. 27), can no longer show YouTube videos.

According to news from Reuters, Amazon will no longer enable YouTube videos to play on its Echo Show, an innovation powered by its virtual assistant Alexa, because Google’s parent company Alphabet stopped supporting the device.

“As of this afternoon, Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers. There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers,” Amazon said in a statement, according to Reuters.

While Amazon was caught off guard by the decision, Google didn’t express the same surprise. In its own statement covered by Reuters, the company said: “We’ve been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working toward an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms. 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.”

Reuters noted that the device showed YouTube videos without including video recommendations or channel subscriptions, a problem Google had with Microsoft in the past.

The move on the part of Google comes at a time when Amazon and Google are battling it out in the smart speaker market. While Amazon has emerged as the leader — thanks to its widely popular Echo smart speakers — Google has been trying to close the lead with its Google Home.  

It’s too early to tell the impact from the companies’ public feud, but the issue could hurt Amazon more than Google. “It’s a bit of a blow to Amazon,” Analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research told Reuters. “YouTube is one of the big video services that they had in addition to their own. For that to disappear means a big chunk of the possible video content you could watch on Echo Show is now gone.”

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