The drama between Amazon and Google continues. This time outlets are reporting that Amazon may be considering launching a YouTube rival after Google announced pulling support for the service from Amazon's Echo and Fire TV devices. This assessment is based on a recent filing to the USPTO for the name "AMAZONTUBE." While the timing of the filing might imply a connection, Amazon has actually owned the amazontube.com domain since 1998.
Amazon's filing with the USPTO is dated December 5th, which lines up precisely with the news of Google pulling the plug on YouTube support for Amazon's devices. Information included in the filing makes it abundantly clear that the trademark is to be associated with software for consuming video, text, data, images, visual works, etc., online and across multiple platforms, all of which sounds more than a bit familiar.
This could be a genuine expression of the company's early attempts at starting a service to compete with YouTube, but the fact that Amazon has held that associated amazontube.com domain for almost two decades might imply otherwise. Maybe the recent action by Google is the straw that broke Amazon's back, but I think it's more likely that Amazon is just posturing.
Domain Name Wire also reports that Amazon has even been registering related AlexaTube and OpenTube-related domains, which could be supporting evidence for Amazon's interest in starting its own service.
It's possible that the company is genuinely exploring its options, but I am personally of the opinion that it wouldn't miss the opportunity of using the Twitch.tv name to do it. Amazon owns Twitch.tv, which is probably the largest live streaming platform in the world, the fourth largest source of internet traffic during peak media consumption hours, and a recognizable name for many. Ignoring Twitch in these plans doesn't seem very likely to me.
However, it is possible that Amazon may just be exploring all possible name options, and this is a genuine glimpse at the company's nascent plans. We'll just have to wait and see.