The Seattle-based online retail giant Amazon has decided that, despite their popularity, Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast dongle will no longer be sold on its website.
Amazon Prime’s shift
Millions of people signed up for Amazon Prime when it was offered solely as a way to receive free two-day shipping on most items that Amazon sells. That was then. In the years since Prime was first introduced to customers, Amazon has built an impressive library of music and videos for Prime members to stream to their televisions and other devices. In addition to the licensed content that Amazon offers for streaming similar to Netflix, they also have stepped up their game to match Netflix by producing their own original programming.
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To further its aim to become a legitimate provider of content, Amazon introduced both Amazon Fire TV and its Fire TV stick in 2014. Neither Apple TV or Chromecast allow for the streaming of Amazon Prime content, and perhaps as a result of this, Amazon announced yesterday that it will no longer sell either device beginning Oct. 29.
Available from third-party sellers?
Not this time. Last year saw a battle between Amazon and the publisher Hachette and made it quite difficult to purchase books published by Hachette. This sparked a reaction from Hachette authors, most notably, Stephen Colbert whose “Colbert Report” was a perfect venue to take shots at Amazon. For a period of weeks during the feud, Colbert’s guests included numerous Hachette authors.
However, Hachette books were still available from third-party merchants on its site in the hopes of remaining a site “where people can find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online.” This will not be the case with Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast. According to early reports from Bloomberg, Amazon made it clear to third-party sellers that they could no longer offer the barred products.
“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” Amazon said. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, Xbox, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices.”
Apple and Google, as of this writing, have yet to comment on what can only be called an “anti-competitive” stance by Amazon.
Analysts speak up
“It’s unlike Amazon to be this territorial,” James McQuivey, an analyst with the research firm Forrester, told the New York Times.
“We’re seeing a turf war play out between Apple, Amazon and Google,” said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies in another interview.