Google has reportedly decided to shut down YouTube on Amazon Echo Show devices. In a statement on Tuesday, Amazon said that Echo Show devices now don’t play YouTube videos because parent company Google has ceased all support, according to Reuters.
The Amazon Echo Show is a smart speaker powered by Alexa that comes with a small screen to allow users to watch videos. YouTube is undoubtedly one of the most popular video sites of all, so many users probably accessed it from their Echo Show devices to watch videos ranging from music to cooking.
“As of this afternoon (Tuesday), Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers,” Amazon said.
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Further, the company said there is no technical reason for the service to be stopped, and this is disappointing and hurts customers.
Google, on the other hand, hit back at Amazon, stating that the service has been pulled off because Amazon violated the terms of service. In a statement to Reuters, the search giant said that negotiations have been going on for quite some time to offer a great experience to users of both platforms.
“Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience,” the company said, adding that it hopes to resolve the issue soon.
Google’s YouTube API terms of services requires developers to retain certain features of the core YouTube experience. However, some functionalities were missing on the Echo Show; for example, Echo Show users cannot subscribe to channels or see related videos. Before Amazon, Google had a similar spat in 2013 when it sent a cease and desist letter to Microsoft complaining about how YouTube was being developed for the Windows Phone, notes GeekWire.
Not reaching an agreement is not new for both companies, and the issue has been lingering for quite some time. Google and Amazon do cross paths in various spaces, such as cloud computing, online search and even smart home speakers.
The Amazon Fire TV uses a web-based implementation instead of the official YouTube app. Similarly, Fire tablets do not offer other Google apps even though they run on a modified version of the Android operating system. However, Amazon uses the open source components of Android instead of using the licensed version, notes The Variety. Google never likes this, and it is one big reason for bitterness between the two.
Another reason is that both Amazon and Google are pushing their smart home speakers aggressively, but the Amazon Echo is ruling the market and is far ahead of Google Home. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), the Echo enjoys a 76% market share in the United States, compared to 24% for the Google Home. eMarketer reached a similar conclusion, it said in a recent report.
According to CIRP estimates, a total of 15 million Echo units have been sold in the United States, an increase from 10.7 million in March and 5.1 million in November 2016. To arrive at its conclusion, CIRP surveyed 300 Amazon Echo or Google Home device owners in the United States.