Amazon has been making Alexa-powered Echo devices for a few years, but the new Echo Show is the first one to have any sort of visual element. The device's 7-inch touchscreen panel provides access to content like your security camera feeds, live news, and YouTube videos. Well, that last item was only true until yesterday afternoon. That's when Google blocked the Echo Show from accessing YouTube. There's plenty of fingerpointing on both sides of this one, too.
The Verge managed to get some spicey statements from both Amazon and Google on this incident. According to Amazon, Google just did this out of the blue for unknown reasons. Amazon is clearly annoyed. However, Google claims it has been in negotiations with Amazon on an agreement that will ensure customers have "great experiences" while using YouTube. Amazon's current implementation of YouTube violates Google's terms of service, so it pulled the plug.
Google doesn't go into detail as to what elements are missing from Echo Show's YouTube experience, but it's probably something Google thinks is important on its end—maybe something to do with ads or video recommendations. Some will also point to Google's smart speakers and suggest this is Google's way of sabotaging Amazon. That's all unfounded speculation, though.
This isn't the first showdown the companies have had. Google pulled Amazon's Android app in 2014 when it integrated the Appstore in it. Meanwhile, Amazon opted to remove the Chromecast from its website in 2015. None of this was helpful to consumers, and neither is this latest spat. While these two multi-billion-dollar companies argue about the details of YouTube implementation, it's Echo Show owners who are caught in the middle with no YouTube.
- The Verge