YouTube vanishes from Amazon


No more YouTube for Echo Show


Chris Monroe/CNET

A spat between Amazon and Google has resulted in YouTube going dark on the Echo Show, Amazon’s first smart speaker with a built-in touchscreen.

Unveiled in May, the Echo Show lets you scan your calendar for appointments and view weather forecasts. Until Tuesday, it also let you pull up YouTube videos. Not anymore.

Google’s popular video-sharing site appears to have disappeared from Amazon’s device due to a dispute over how YouTube should work on the Echo Show. Who’s to blame is up in the air. 

According to Amazon, Google pulled support for YouTube on the Echo Show on Tuesday afternoon:

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.

But Google accused Amazon of breaking its rules on how YouTube is presented, adding that talks between the two companies haven’t yielded a solution.

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.

The move is likely related to YouTube functionality desktop users are used to that isn’t available on Echo Show. The functionality includes being able to share, recommend and comment on videos.

Google has very specific standards regarding how YouTube is displayed on apps made by other companies. In 2013, Google blocked a YouTube app that Microsoft built for the Windows Phone, saying the app violated its terms of services by not presenting ads and allowing video downloads. Microsoft eventually modified the app to display YouTube’s mobile Web site.

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