Want to stream Amazon Prime Video to your TV? You can buy a Smart TV with the feature baked in or pick up a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or other supported device. But you can’t use an Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or Google Nexus Player because none of those devices work with Prime Video.
Whose fault is that? Largely Amazon’s: the company could release apps for those platforms, but it hasn’t done so. Now it looks like Amazon has no plans to add support for Apple TV, Chromecast, or the Nexus Player.
How do we know? Because the company is reportedly sending notices to vendors letting them know that as of October 29th, it will no longer let them sell any of those devices through Amazon.
The reason for the move is allegedly that “it’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
You know, because people might be confused if they bought a media streamer from an online store and found out that while it can stream content from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and hundreds of other sources, it’s missing one.
Again… let’s point out the obvious: the only reason these devices don’t support Prime Video is because Amazon hasn’t worked with Google or Apple to enable support.
Overall, this move just seems odd. I would understand if Amazon only wanted you to buy its own Fire TV and Fire TV Stick products, but Amazon will continue to sell Roku, Xbox, or PlayStation products… all of which work with Prime, and all of which are ostensibly competing with Amazon’s hardware.
Amazon also tends to sell hardware in order to sell content. Its eReaders, tablets, and TV boxes are so cheap that the company doesn’t make much of a profit from them. Instead, it hopes customers will be more likely to buy apps, music, books, videos, and games when they’re using Amazon devices. But another approach is to make sure your app works across all sorts of hardware, and Amazon generally follows that approach: the company offers a number of Android, iOS, and Windows apps.
Anyway, I was a bit skeptical of this report when someone posted the letter on reddit last night. But now Bloomberg has picked up the story, giving it a little more credibility and Variety received confirmation from an Amazon spokesperson.
Wondering why you can still find Amazon listings for Chromecast, Nexus Player, and Apple TV devices on Amazon? According to the letter sellers can no longer create new product listings, but existing product pages won’t be removed until October 29th.
Amazon has changed. Gone are the days of timely refunds, good customer service, and being able to buy almost anything for a good price. I’m not renewing my Prime subscription this year.
Amazon is a platform apart from being a seller. As a platform, the restriction may be legally challengeable. It may not sell the device itself, but how can it stop others from selling the product? Further, Android is an open platform, it is for Amazon to create the relevant app for offering its video service on Android. Imagine if such whimsical restrictions are imposed on a train’s passage through an important station.
I dislike these kinds of market tactics. They give me the sense of being bullied into buying an Amazon product. They make me not only less likely to buy Prime and an Amazon streamer but also less likely to buy other Amazon products – like Kindle or Alexa.
I do still buy products from Amazon and reasonably often. But honestly not as often as I used to. Several times recently I’ve simply found better deals elsewhere, often with Walmart – though a couple times with Target as well.
If Amazon wants to be an island thats OK I can make sure I just pay for Hulu and Showtime or HBO and DROP PRIME.
I don’t order enough Prime merchandise from Amazon to justify paying them a monthly fee but when you combine them with movies and an occasional rental then Amazon is cool. But eh.. They want to be exclusive.. Yeah nah..
The psychology of having free, fast delivery available to them is a powerful one, though, and is a major factor in people’s thinking, even if they don’t actually make much use of it.
No surprises here. Amazon hasn’t allowed MediaMonkey to be installed via the Kindle store for some time now. Ostensibly because it doesn’t give their users a customer experience that Amazon approves of, but more likely because they consider MediaMonkey a competitor as it gives users users an alternative means of getting media onto their Kindle devices. More at:
Apple TV shares teir service wih all these other medias…..OH wait..never mind
Hypothetical move….Google announces that Android is no longer available to be used on any non-approved, Amazon devices as the FireOS. This would effectively can the entire Amazon App Store and all their branded streaming devices.
That’s can’t happen since Android is open source. Anyone can take the AOSP and make their own Android flavor just like people do with Linux. It won’t have any of the Google Play services (google apps, play store, etc), but that is exactly what Amazon did. Google could stop all Android development and go full ChromeOS and Amazon could continue on happily with it’s own version.
This could happen going forward but, it couldn’t be postdated. I.e. they couldn’t take back the rights amazon already has, all they could do is stop giving amazon updates.
I like the move.
I’m tired of Apple/Google not bringing their services to other platforms and expecting people to bend over to accommodate their own platforms.
Google not bringing services to other platforms? You’re joking, right? Apple on the other hand doesn’t have many services worth using, anyways.
Nope, not joking.
There is only one google app on the Microsoft W10 platform, Google search. No Youtube, Google Music, etc.
Google and Apple may build apps for each other’s platforms, but they flip everyone else the bird. As a result, people have no right to complain when other people don’t build apps for their platform.
Apple made Apple Music and iTunes. That’s not much so it’s still irrelevant. Google has so much more, and it can all be accessed from a browser. I really would appreciate having YouTube as an app on my Win10 tablet, but it’s not a big deal.
The YouTube app on Roku is pretty nice!
Google Drive, Google Chrome, Google Chrome App Launcher, Google Photos, Picasa, Google Play Music, Google Docs (offline, via native Windows Chrome extension), Google Earth, Google Search.
Those are the ones I can think of. There could be more. These are all native Windows applications, and given that people can already use the full gamut of Google services on Windows 10 just fine, It is ludicrous to claim that Google is ignoring Microsoft’s Windows platform.
There is no reason for Google to provide their services through the Windows 10 app store. None at all. Users have no trouble downloading and installing the Google applications they need the old-fashioned way (via their browser), and almost complete lack Microsoft’s mobile Windows presence doesn’t warrant any additional investment to build apps at this stage (and may never do so).
It’s not Google’s job to prop up Microsoft’s mobile platform. It’s up to Microsoft to prove that their Windows 10 App Store platform is worth developing apps for, and they have a long way to go.
This is mostly about Google not putting effort into making a Windows Phone app for Youtube when Windows Phone has like zero market share. Meanwhile Chromecast has doubled Roku sales numbers. It isn’t a small market. These are not the same things.
I can’t imagine what services you’re talking about as far as google goes, nearly every google service is available on just about any platform you could want. They even have a few apps on Windows Phone which has almost no market share.
Interesting that the Nvidia Console / Android TV is omitted. Clearly this smells of an anti-Apple, anti-Google campaign. Plus this is announced right after the Chromecast 2 was released.
Maybe this is a dumb question, but as I understand it, you can use Chromecast to send anything that shows up on your PC monitor to your TV screen — right? So if you can play Amazon Instant Video on your PC, why wouldn’t you be able to then send it to your TV? What am I missing?
You can cast any Chrome tab, its just not smooth and efficient as native application support. Plus its still in a Beta state.
Comments are closed.