One of the big features Amazon is touting with its new screen-enhanced smart speaker, the Echo Show, is that very big screen. Well, it’s only 7 inches, but it’s there where one has not been for a first-party Alexa AI device.
One of the advantages with that is looking at the people you’re video calling. Another is watching YouTube clips on a glorified tablet. Well, it used to be one. Amazon claims that Google has pulled the YouTube platform off the Echo Show while Google insists that its terms of service on “user experience” have been violated.
Here’s Amazon’s statement as posted to The Verge:
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.
And here’s Google’s:
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.
That user experience includes access to related videos, autoplay, subscribership and other features that are lacking from the basic Echo Show interface.
It wouldn’t be the first time these two came to grips over each other’s products as the Google Chromecast devices aren’t being sold officially at Amazon’s marketplace. But it does contribute to the silo-building of smart services — Google Assistant working with YouTube, Play Music and others while Amazon may become more inclined to have Alexa link to Kindle, Audible and other subsidiaries’ results. It’s a gap that may not close peacefully if stalemates like this continue on.