Just a few years ago, Google and Amazon overlapped in almost no markets, but that is no longer the case. Both companies offer cloud services, both offer storage options and both have game streaming services, but those are minor when compared to the more serious overlaps. When advertisers abandoned Google over YouTube issues, many publishers moved to Amazon for their targeted ads, and have not come back.
Cutting into Google's core business of advertising dealt a lot of damage to an already fragile relationship. In 2014, Amazon tried to integrate their app store into their Amazon app, which caused Google to remove the app entirely. Since then, a game of one-upsmanship has grown to a nearly absurd level. In recently weeks, however, the battle has spilled over into customer experience.
Amazon is conspicuously missing some popular products, such as Google Home and Chromecast devices. But now, the majority of Nest products have also disappeared, making Google one of the most obviously missing brands from the retailer. If a customer is like many online shoppers, they shop nearly exclusively on Amazon, meaning they might be entirely unaware of these products.
In addition to physical products, there are also media options missing. For example, Amazon Prime Video streaming cannot be used on Chromecast devices. In what appears to be retaliation, Google has announced that they will be removing YouTube from Amazon's products. The Amazon Echo Show will lose access this coming Tuesday, December 13, and FireTV devices will lose access on January 1.
Google claims that this move is a negotiating tactic, similar to how cable networks sometimes need to negotiate with providers: by pulling their content temporarily.
We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services. But 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. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.
Hopefully, this means that YouTube services will return to Amazon products in the near future. This is, however, one of the issues you encounter when purchasing first-party hardware: a lack of third-party, competitor services. You would never expect to see PlayStation Vue available on the Xbox One, or Microsoft Mixer on the PlayStation 4, and the same is likely in this case. Instead of purchasing a product that competes with a top-tier service provider, such as Chromecast or FireTV, the safer option is to choose a product like a Roku, which only aggregates services and does not try to compete with any of them.