The other day, I came home from work, snuggled up with a blanket, and turned on my Amazon Fire TV Stick to watch some new videos from my favorite YouTube channels. That’s when I was greeted with this message:
“Starting on 1/1/2018, YouTube will not be available on this device. You can continue to enjoy your favorite creators and videos in many other ways. Please visit https://goo.gl/LefFGe for a list of devices you can use.”
If you’ve opened YouTube on a Fire TV Stick or Echo Show in the past week, then you’ve seen it too. Why is YouTube being removed from these devices? How does it affect you? And will anything change by January 1st?
What’s Going On With YouTube?
YouTube has been in the news a lot lately, and not for the best reasons. In a phenomenon referred to by Redditors as “ElsaGate“, the streaming website only just started cracking down on inappropriate, disturbing videos that were targeted to children. And now, it’s making headlines again as Google announced that it’s blocking YouTube on Amazon devices, namely the Echo Show and Fire TV Stick.
How The Feud Started
Google’s relationship with Amazon has been bumpy for a few years now. Both companies have been reluctant to support each others’ products and services, while still somehow trying to maintain a partnership. Most recently, Amazon has refused to include Google Chromecast, Home, and Nest on their online store. Amazon’s reason for it? These products all directly compete with their own smart home gadgets, such as the Fire TV Stick and Echo. Meanwhile, Amazon Video is also not supported on Chromecast. With Google now blocking YouTube, it’s near impossible to enjoy both companies’ services on the same streaming device.
What This Means For Amazon And Google Customers
A similar incident happened only a few months ago when Google began blocking YouTube on Echo Show devices. Amazon and Google seemed to come to an agreement, and YouTube was soon back up on the Echo Show in less than two months. This time though, both sides are reluctant to make amends. Google simply cites a “lack of reciprocity” from Amazon’s end. Meanwhile, the mega e-commerce retailer has said that they’re disappointed Google is “selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”
For now, it’s safe to say that Fire TV Stick and Echo Show owners should appreciate YouTube while they still have it. Regardless of what anyone thinks about this feud, the fact is, customers now can’t access every feature on their Amazon devices. Some people are already trying to figure out how to bypass the block. But Google is always prepared – they’ll be ready to catch a cheater and shut them down. We hope that Amazon and Google will eventually work through their differences, but it doesn’t seem likely.
Want to learn more about the Amazon Echo? Take a look at our article about some of the Echo’s best features.