Amazon Blocks YouTube on the Amazon Fire TV Before Google’s Deadline
In recent months, Google and Amazon have had what can only be described as a petty fight. Amazon prevented Google’s Chromecast from playing Amazon Prime Video and delisted Chromecast devices from its store. Google, for its part, blocked Amazon’s Echo Show speaker from accessing YouTube, and announced it would no longer support the YouTube application on Fire TV devices after January 1st, 2018. If all that wasn’t bad enough, Amazon this week disabled the Fire TV app before Google’s deadline.
Fire TV users who try to open the YouTube application are encouraged via a pop-up message to install web browsers like Amazon’s Silk or Firefox. It’s unclear if Google will attempt to block YouTube on Fire TV-optimized web browsers, but there’s precedent — Amazon’s workaround on the Echo Show, which used a browser to pull up YouTube videos, was disabled by the search giant earlier this month.
Things might not be as bad as they seem, though. Chromecast listings recently reappeared on Amazon’s store, and a Google spokesperson confirmed to Variety that the two companies are in talks:
“We are in productive discussions with Amazon to reach an agreement for the benefit of our mutual customers. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”
That’s good news. Many people opened up an Alexa-enabled device this Christmas, if the uptick in downloads of the Alexa app on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are any indication. Fire TV users, for now, can use the aforementioned web browser workaround to view YouTube, but here’s hoping that a more elegant solution’s in the works.