A person familiar with Google's thinking on the matter told Engadget that a big point of contention had been the fact that Amazon implemented what was essentially a hacked version of YouTube on both the Echo Show and Fire TV. Google claimed Amazon's implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violated its "terms of service" and created a "broken user experience".
Now that YouTube is again blocked on the Show and on Fire TV, Amazon might have to come to the bargaining table.
What this ultimately means is that starting today, Echo Show owners will no longer be able to enjoy YouTube content and FireTV users will no longer have access to the content after January 1. "We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon", the Google spokeswoman said.
The Amazon-YouTube fight is also reminiscent of TV industry disputes over carriage fees-in which cable companies stop carrying popular channels-and reflects how the companies that once sought to disrupt media monopolists are turning into them instead. Rather than work with Google to build versions of its apps that work on Amazon's devices, Amazon has been trying to do it itself - a move that cuts out features and also likely affects Google's ability to collect on some of the ad revenue that comes from its videos. Amazon kicked the Chromecast, Google's television player, off its retail website in 2015, along with Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) TV player.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Google said the company blocked YouTube due to failed negotiations with Amazon.
Google specifically calls Amazon out in its statement on the block for not selling devices like the Chromecast and Google Home. Amazon's suite of voice-controlled devices has outsold Google's so far, according to a study by research firm eMarketer from earlier this year. The lack of YouTube and YouTube TV will leave the Fire TV short a major app that other devices like Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV all offer.