Smart home devices have exploded in popularity, with the leaders being smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo devices and the Google Home. Amazon’s most recent addition to its Echo line is the Echo Show, which features a 7-inch touchscreen to expand the capabilities of the smart speaker. A major selling point is that the Echo Show can bring you video search results, rather than audio-only responses.
That feature has taken a major hit, however. Google has removed access to YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show. The company cites a violation of its terms of service in how the Echo Show displays YouTube content. Though the specifics aren’t detailed, it likely pertains to the Echo Show not displaying core YouTube features, such as subscriptions and playlists. Google is sensitive to the inclusion and exclusion of these features, and has had issues with other companies (like Microsoft) utilizing YouTube in the past.
We’ve been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms. Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon.Google
Amazon has also issued a statement, which doesn’t mention any violation of terms of service.
Google made a change today at around 3 pm. YouTube used to be available to our shared customers on Echo Show. As of this afternoon, Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers. There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers.Amazon
The issue seems heated between the companies, and it remains to be seen if negotiators can work out a solution. If not, Amazon will suffer a major blow to the video functionality of the Echo Show.
Though one could believe that Google is trying to sabotage its smart home competitor, that’s likely more sensational than the actual issue. Nonetheless, it is intriguing to see Google taking such strong measures against Amazon.
Stay tuned for more updates.