Amazon‘s recently released Echo Show brought a new dimension to the world of smart speakers when it arrived carrying a built-in display. Thanks to this screen, it’s unique among the current lot of connected speakers, and offers opportunities for information retrieval and media consumption that other systems just can’t deliver.
See Also: Amazon Show review
As well as supporting flash news briefings and Amazon Video content, the Echo Show also launched with support for YouTube — presumably the video service that was most frequently viewed on the device. However, YouTube was pulled from the device yesterday and users were greeted with the message “Currently, Google is not supporting YouTube on Echo Show,” when they tried to access it.
In a statement provided to The Verge, Amazon said:
“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.”
Amazon’s take is that Google has been a bit naughty and switched off support without prior warning which, naturally, would cause disruption and unrest among users, and a new headache for Amazon. Google, however, says that the move is the result of a current dispute between the companies.
“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 Verge speculates that these issues might relate to Amazon’s failure to provide the full gamut of YouTube features in its Echo Show interface. Without integrating YouTube functions like channel subscribing and autoplaying next videos — which reportedly aren’t in place on the Echo Show — Amazon is holding back functionality that could ultimately benefit Google.
This dispute is likely to be resolved soon with YouTube returning to the Echo Show; I’m sure Amazon doesn’t want to lose the world’s biggest video platform from its first Echo product to ship with a display. In the meantime, it’s no doubt going to frustrate Echo Show owners.