Amazon has made their Prime video app in the Google Play Store available to US users for the first time. Before this change, the app was only available to non-US users and US customers had to sideload the Amazon Underground app to watch Amazon Video on Android phones and tablets. This change now allows all Android users to easily install the app from the official Google Play Store. Read more ›
At the beginning of the month, Amazon announced they would stop selling the Chromecast, Apple TV, and Nexus Player through Amazon.com. Their official reasoning for banning these streaming media players was to “avoid customer confusion” since these devices did not “interact well with Prime Video.” In my opinion, it had more to do with Amazon using their retail leverage to sway Apple and Google into changing their in-app purchase policies. When announcing the new policy, Amazon said new listings for these products could no longer be created, which is why the new Apple TV and new Chromecast have never been available through Amazon. The largest online retailer also said existing listings for these devices would be removed on October 29th. That day is today and, as expected, the Amazon.com listings for the Chromecast, Apple TV, and Nexus Player have all been removed and replaced with 404 error pages. Searching for any of the removed devices on Amazon brings up search results devoid of the aforementioned products, but does produce a page with a banner at the top that takes customers to Amazon’s Streaming Media Player hub which features the Fire TV, Roku 4, Tivo Bolt, and other streaming boxes.
Notably, the Nvidia Shield and Razer Forge TV remain available for purchase through Amazon. Both of these devices run Android TV and provide the exact same user experience as the banned Nexus Player when it comes to viewing Amazon Video. The Nexus Player, while manufactured by ASUS, is as close to a Google product as you can get. The removal of only the Android TV device that was co-developed by Google is further evidence that Amazon is specifically targeting Apple and Google with this product ban.
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Amazon’s decision to stop selling streaming devices that don’t support Amazon Prime Video has ruffled quite a few feathers. Many see this decision as a way for Amazon to hurt the sales of competing devices, but there is a lot more to it than that. The real issue, and likely the driving force behind this decision by Amazon, is with in-app purchase restrictions imposed by Apple and Google, as well as the closed nature of the Google Cast protocol. Read more ›
The gloves have come off as Amazon will reportedly stop selling streaming video devices that do not support Prime Video, like the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Nexus Player. Bloomberg Business is reporting that Amazon marketplace sellers have been sent an email from Amazon outlining the changes. New listings for non-Prime Video streaming devices will not be allowed and existing inventory will be removed from Amazon on Oct. 29th. Devices like Rokus, Xboxs, and PlayStations will not be affected because they support Prime Video streaming. Read more ›