Amazon and Google haven’t had the best relationship in recent years. During the course of this long-running feud, Fire TV customers lost access to the entire suite of YouTube apps on their streaming devices. What’s worse, these users received no advanced warning about losing these popular services.
The entire battle between the two tech giants stems from a petty game of tit-for-tat removals of each other’s products from their platforms. The entire ordeal lasted more than a year, but a surprise announcement from both companies is showing that even bitter enemies can work together if the money is right.
In a move that shocked speculators on both sides of the fight, Google and Amazon announced a freeze to their dispute with an agreement on how to handle each other’s apps. For users of Amazon Fire TV, this means that YouTube will soon be back on your device. Here’s all the details on YouTube’s triumphant return.
Why were Google and Amazon feuding?
The dispute between Google and Amazon started over YouTube playback on Amazon Echo Show devices.
In 2017, Echo devices suddenly stopped supporting YouTube without explanation, upsetting many customers of both companies. When asked for response, Google claimed Amazon had violated its terms of service and said it failed to provide an acceptable YouTube experience on Echo devices.
True to form, Google didn’t provide any further details, leaving many to speculate the decision was related to ongoing negotiations between the two companies.
What started as a minor spat erupted into an all out war, with Amazon retaliating by removing all Nest and Chromecast products from its online stores. This back-and-forth lasted more than a year before the companies apparently came to an agreement behind the scenes.
When is YouTube returning to Fire TV devices?
According to Google, YouTube is coming back to Amazon’s family of streaming devices some time later this year. This re-release will be done in phases, with the full YouTube app coming first “in the next few months.” Following the app will be YouTube TV, the platform’s subscription streaming service, along with YouTube Kids before the end of the year.
On Amazon’s end, the company announced that Fire TV will be fully certified for YouTube playback, giving users the highest-quality video that the platform has to offer.
In addition, Amazon is adding Chromecast compatibility to its Prime Video app. This would allow users to stream Prime Videos from a smart device to a TV with a Chromecast dongle plugged in — something the service did not allow before.
Nobody knows exactly what deal was hashed out between the companies behind closed doors, but all we can say is it seems like a win-win for consumers. The ability to choose between services is always preferred over being locked-in by single company. Perhaps Apple should be taking notes.