Google blocks YouTube access from Amazon's streaming devices

Prime Video has been available for some time on iPhones and iPads, however it had never been available on any of Apple's streaming TV boxes. All you have to do is head over to the App Store on any Apple TV and then log in with your Amazon credentials. Prime Video integrates with Apple's TV app, which lists the shows you're now watching and alerts you when new episodes are available.

A Google rep told Variety, which first reported the story, that the reasoning is simple: Amazon has declined to sell (and to offer Prime video on) Google's media devices, pushing instead, for example, its own Fire TV Stick exclusively rather than offering it for sale alongside Google's Chrromecast streaming media player. Amazon kicked the Chromecast, Google's television player, off its retail website in 2015, along with Apple Inc's TV player. Yes, you get Netflix and, yes, at long last there is now support for Amazon Prime Video as well. For cheaper models, you can get that through Roku's smartphone app.

Amazon, Apple and Google/YouTube all have hardware and video components, and all want to have the widest possible reach. Without some broad-ranging truce, in which each company agrees to treat each other's services equally and let consumers decide what's best, Amazon and Google would only be undermining themselves. Therefore services like Spotify have to add a 30% premium on subscriptions sold through the iOS app, which makes it look like their services are more expensive than Apple's competing services. Both promise streaming in 4K resolution, voice-activated remotes, an ethernet jack for plugging into high-speed Internet (important if you want to stream in 4K) and access to many channels. Amazon joined Apple TV on Wednesday.

Yesterday the two companies announced that - finally - that very app had now gone live, with Vice President of Prime Video Mark Eamer saying in a statement: "There is nothing that excites us more than delighting our customers, and we are THRILLED for them to stream Prime Video on Apple TV". While Google's stock price has grown 198% since December 2012, Amazon's has soared 352.6% in the same period. This is accessed via the Movies, TV and Music apps on the Apple TV 4K's homepage. Most of the tech companies that manufacture these devices provide their own streaming services, which had intensified the competition. "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website".

  • Joey Payne