Google is set to pull youtube-apps from Amazon’s Fire TV and the Echo Show in the coming month.
Because Amazon stopped selling some google products (namely Nest) on its platform, in addition to not granting Google Chromecast users the ability to use Prime Video, the popular streaming service.
The lack of reciprocity triggered the decision to pull YouTube on Google’s part. They’re hoping this will force Amazon into negotiating a truce, the likely alternative being more services are stripped in a waterfall effect.
The interconnectedness of services and device makers stands to hurt consumers who there to simply consume entertainment. Not to mention it’ll put entertainment creators behind in their ability to reach a broader audience.
This highlights the need for a neutral platform (queue Mycroft) where there’s no retaliation in seemingly unconnected departments.
There is a “Switzerland” per say when it comes to video streaming, and that’s Roku. They’re an independent company that carries content from all the major players – so customers can still consume content from various sources. Roku’s founder, Anthony Wood, says “We’re not vertically integrated like our competitors where they can’t carry each other’s content. So we have Amazon Instant Video and Google Play, for example.”
The question then becomes what happens when similar feuds spill over into other sectors? Voice in particular–as there’s fierce competition to become the go-to assistant.
In his BGR article, Chris Smith asks us what it really comes down to; “After all, why does it matter so much what hardware people use to use your streaming service as long as they pay for it?”
The reality is, this feud showcases just how much power these companies have; whether that’s in the e-commerce realm or arena of entertainment and media. Each is acting in ways to make their products the staple of consumers life’s going forward, despite the obvious consequence of hurting their consumers.
Alyx works as a business analyst for Mycroft, working with data to shape metrics and the broader marketing strategy. She also writes these blog posts.