As first reported by Bloomberg, Amazon is planning on dropping streaming devices that don’t work with its Prime Video streaming service as of Oct. 29th.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon released a statement to its marketplace sellers letting them know that no new listings for Apple TV or Chromecast products would be allowed and that existing listings would be removed as of Oct. 29th.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told media outlets, “Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, XBOX, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices.”
Amazon’s Prime Video app is available on Roku, Xbox and the PlayStation. Amazon also has its own line of Fire TV devices.
It is notably not available on the Apple TV or on the Google Play store.
Hitting Fire With Fire
Amazon’s online video efforts go back nearly a decade. Over the last four years, its Prime Instant Video service has grown significantly. Over the last few years, Amazon has invested in not only award-winning original content but in buying distribution rights for big name shows and movies.
At the same time, Amazon has extended its reach into the living room. One of the original supporters of Roku, Amazon Video is supported on a variety of third-party streaming devices and Blu-ray players.
Last year, the company launched its first line of Fire TV devices for bringing content from Amazon and other video services into the living room.
Like Amazon, both Google and Apple also have their eyes on the living room. Both companies offer their own a-la-carte rental and purchase stores and it is rumored Apple will soon be launching its own type of content subscription service for its own living room devices.
And although plenty of content services, including Netflix and Hulu, have found success through ubiquity (being on as many devices as possible), Amazon has run into problems getting its Prime service on its competitors’ devices.
I spoke with Amazon Video execs at length a number of years ago about the companies plans to support Apple TV. At the time, it was expressed to me that Amazon very much wanted to be on Apple TV but that getting Apple to agree to allow the service on was a problematic hurdle.
More recent conversations I have had with people familiar with Amazon’s strategy suggest Amazon still would like to be on Apple’s platform but feel more confident about its content arm acting as a point of strength.
Amazon does have a Prime Video app for iOS that supports the Apple TV via AirPlay. It recently added the ability to download TV shows and movies to a device for offline viewing.
With Google, the issue seems to be more complex. Amazon Video apps are available for Android, but not in the Google Play store. This may be because Amazon’s Fire platform of tablets and set-top devices are based on Android, albeit a forked version that doesn’t benefit Google in any way.