Unless and until Google and Amazon can play nice, users who rely on Amazon’s Echo show and Fire TV Stick devices will no longer be able to relive the well-crafted adventures of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, or check out a young Bruce Lee in old episodes of The Green Hornet.
In fact, people who are committed to the Amazon ecosystem pretty much won't be able to watch anything at all on YouTube — at least for the time being.
Google began blocking YouTube access for Echo Show users this week, and is informing Amazon Fire TV users that the service won’t be available on their devices after the first of next year. It’s a move borne of a protracted turf war between the two titans, one that also will continue to have ripple effects on third-party alliances (like Amazon’s deal with Apple TV) until there’s some kind of resolution.
A Google rep told Variety, which first reported the story, that the reasoning is simple: Amazon has declined to sell (and to offer Prime video on) Google’s media devices, pushing instead, for example, its own Fire TV Stick exclusively rather than offering it for sale alongside Google’s Chrromecast streaming media player.
“… 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,” the rep told Variety.
Amazon retorted that Google is setting a “disappointing precedent” by imposing a no-go zone around what’s otherwise “an open website” on every device in the universe that doesn’t carry the Amazon brand.
What that means in practical terms is that, if you use the Amazon ecosystem to enjoy movies and TV, you’ll no longer be able to dial up YouTube, whether you're jonesing for classic camp like Beware! The Blob, or simply want to waste half your morning on cat videos.