Amazon’s Fire tablets, Fire TV devices, and Echo Show and Echo Spot gadgets can all play video from a variety of sources, including YouTube. But they don’t actually have an official YouTube app, because Google hasn’t made one.
While Amazon has made its own YouTube apps that basically access the web interface for Google’s user-generated video service, Google has threatened to block Fire TV and Echo devices from accessing YouTube.
The two companies are negotiating some sort of compromise, and after years of refusing to sell Chromecast devices through its web store, Amazon has announced it’ll begin offering them soon, so it looks like talks are progressing. But Amazon may also be hedging its bets… by developing its own user-generated media service.
As spotted by TV Answer Man, Amazon recently filed trademark applications for the terms “Amazon Tube” and “Open Tube.” And earlier this month Domain Name Wire noticed that Amazon had registered AlexaOpenTube.com, AmazonAlexaTube.com, and AmazonOpenTube.com.
It sure sounds like Amazon is at least thinking of launching something called Amazon Tube or Open Tube. Alexa Tube would probably be a bad idea, since that’s currently the name of a very NSFW website.
The trademark would be for a service that lets users stream “non-downloadable user generated content” including “photos, videos, text, data, images” and other content.
It sure sound a lot like a YouTube clone. What’s unclear is if Amazon will actually launch a YouTube rival, or if the company is just taking steps that will allow it to do so if it can’t work things out with Google. It’s also unclear whether anyone would actually use an Amazon user-generated video site. YouTube has a massive head start in this space, and it’s not like there aren’t already alternatives including Vidmeo and DailyMotion. They’re just much, much less popular.