Google removes YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show

Just three months after the release of Amazon’s Echo Show, it looks like the device won’t be able to fulfill one of its key value propositions.

On Tuesday, The Verge reported that the Amazon Echo Show no longer has access YouTube. When the Echo Show first debuted as basically Amazon’s Alexa with a screen, “Chief Evangelist” of Alexa and Echo David Isbitski specifically wrote in a statement that, with the Echo Show, users would be able to “watch video flash briefings and YouTube.” 

Now, as The Verge writes, when you ask your Echo Show to play a YouTube video, Alexa replies “Currently, Google is not supporting Youtube on Echo Show.” 

Both Google and Amazon have confirmed that as of approximately 3pm on Tuesday, Google pulled access to YouTube from Echo Show devices. And with strong language and conflicting takes coming from both tech giants, there’s no resolution to the incompatibility in sight.

Amazon characterizes the change as sudden and uncalled-for. 

Google made a change yesterday around 3 pm. YouTube used to be available to our shared customers on Echo Show. As of yesterday 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 countered Amazon’s assertion that the removal was abrupt and baseless. As indicated in the statement, apparently the agreement to use YouTube on Echo Show was not fully worked out before the product’s debut. Since negotiations have been “ongoing,” it looks like Amazon may have jumped the gun including YouTube in the first place. Said Google:

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 “broken user experience” mentioned could be the lack of access to standard YouTube features such as comments and recommended videos.

There has been speculation that this latest tiff comes amidst larger struggles to integrate Google products with Amazon. For example, Amazon currently does not offer Chromecast on its platform, whereas the Fire Stick does come up in shopping search results on Google.

With these two competitors increasingly vying for market share in basically every aspect of our lives, in The Great Battle to Come, only time will tell whether users will be able to have the best of both worlds, or will have to choose sides.

WATCH: Someone rigged Amazon Echo and Google Home to talk to each other and it’s hilarious

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