Online retail giant Amazon.com seems to have stumbled upon a problem on Wednesday, after leading search engine Google Inc. decided to withdraw YouTube from the e-commerce’s smart speaker Echo Show, marking a rare feud between two large tech companies.
Owners of the Echo Show device have found themselves unable to access their favorite Youtube videos, with the device saying that Google is currently not supporting YouTube on Echo Show.
Amazon said that Google’s move came as a surprise to them and that it chose to no longer make YouTube available on the Alexa-enabled smart speaker without explanation or notification to customers.
Moreover, believing that it was not due to any technical glitches the e-commerce group expressed its disappointment towards the tech company’s decision, saying that it hurts both of their customers.
Alphabet Inc.’s Google begged to differ however, stating that it has been in talks with Amazon for a long time to form an agreement that could offer great experience for customers on both platforms.
The search engine also argued that it remove the video-sharing site on Echo Show as Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the device violates their terms of service therefore, creating a broken user experience.
The company hoped that they will be able reach an agreement and resolve the issue soon.
What Amazon is Missing
The broken user experience specifically points to Echo Show’s ability of showing YouTube videos without the fundamental features, such as access to related videos, channel subscriptions, and autoplay.
Google is very particular when it comes to how YouTube is supposed to be displayed on apps made by other companies.
In a similar dispute with tech giant Microsoft Corp. in 2013, Google stopped supporting the YouTube app that the company built for the Windows Phone since it breached the terms of service by not presenting ads and allowing video downloads.
Microsoft in the end modified the app to display YouTube’s mobile site.
Analyst Jan Dawson said that Google choosing to block YouTube in Echo Show was a bit of a blow to Amazon given that it is one the big video services that they had in addition to their own and with it gone, means a huge part of the video content a person could watch on the device has now disappeared.
Dawson added that things get more difficult for users because the two companies are unable to get along.
Both companies indeed have not been in good terms for some time now which is evident as there are some certain services and products not available on their competing platforms. For example, Amazon’s Fire TV never obtained an official YouTube app, and is instead using a web-based implementation.
Other instances include Amazon having its own Fire TV streaming stick, does not sell Google’s Chromecast on its site. Amazon Prime Video does not also provide support for Chromecast, while the Amazon Video app is not available on Google’s Play Store.
The relationship of the two tech companies hit rock bottom in late 2015, when Amazon decided to stop selling Google’s Chromecast streaming device.
By leaving these issues unresolved, the dispute between the two went deeper and has now extended to the Echo Show as well.