Amazon And Google Start Playing Nice

Amazon has decided to sell the Chromecast and Apple TV for the first time in two years. The move suggests Google’s blocking of YouTube on some Fire devices was a successful negotiating strategy.

Last week Google announced it would pull YouTube from the full range of Fire TV sticks from January 1, as well as disabling a workaround for an existing block on the Echo Show (a version of the Echo speaker with a small screen.) It was surprisingly open about the fact it was a retaliation for Amazon not only refusing to sell several Google products including the Chromecast, but also preventing third party sellers from doing so on the Amazon Marketplace section. It explicitly connected the YouTube block to this “lack of reciprocity”.

Amazon has now added product listing pages for the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra as well as several Apple TV devices. (Amazon recently convinced Apple to carry its Prime Video app on the devices, which may explain this change.) It’s confirmed it will start selling the devices.

Google hasn’t yet said if it will overturn the YouTube blocks, but issued a generic statement about “productive discussions.”

Several gaps still remain in the Apple-Amazon-Google triangle such as Amazon not selling the Google Home speaker or Amazon Video not having a native Chromecast link, but hopefully this is a step towards the tech giants realizing that blocking services or refusing to stock products undermines the entire smart tech and streaming market.