Amazon to stop selling Apple TV and Chromecast for lack of Prime Video support


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.

“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” Amazon said in the e-mail. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”

The question of whether it’s Amazon or Apple who has kept Prime Video off of the Apple TV has long been debated. This move is either a way to strongarm non-Prime Video devices to include Prime Video, or a way for Amazon to stifle the competition. Either way, it’s a pretty jerk move by Amazon.


The following is reportedly the full email sent to Amazon sellers, taken from a post on Reddit from last night:

Dear Seller,

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. Therefore, Amazon has implemented listing restrictions for the followings products:

o Apple TV
o Chromecast
o Nexus Player

Effective immediately, you may no longer create new listings for these products, and as of 10/29/15, any existing listings for these products will be removed. There will be no adverse impact on your seller account for the removal, but we request that you refrain from relisting removed products.

Roku, XBOX, and PlayStation all interact well with Prime Video and are not affected by this change.

Thank you for selling on Amazon.

Amazon Services

  1. Craig says:

    Yeah… Instead of Amazon actually supporting Prime Video subscriptions via these devices (Apple TV 4 via the upcoming SDK/AirPlay or Chromecast via implementing the necessary Google casting API) they just nix the devices entirely. Makes zip for sense! Pretty low move, Amazon. Pretty low…

    • Ottis says:

      I was going to ask the same thing. Isn’t it up the app developer to support Chromecast? Prime Video can’t be cast because Amazon didn’t implement it?

  2. James says:

    And what about Roku boxes in the UK, where it is SKY TV preventing Amazon being added as a streaming service . Sky being a major investor in Roku.

  3. Val Resnick says:

    Just cancelled my Prime membership. Time to move on.

  4. Scott Howell says:

    I get it sort of. But just because some of us enjoy Prime Video, doesn’t mean the rest of Amazon’s customers who don’t prefer to use Prime or Prime video should be punished from buying these devices through Amazon. I love Amazon, but if I want to buy a Chromecast through Amazon that should be my decision.

    • JohnnyL says:

      I didn’t know you decide for Amazon what they should be carrying on their shelves. It’s their store. Like any other retailer they can decide what they want to sell and what they don’t. I have no problem with this as either device is readily available at plenty of other locations.

  5. Dan says:

    What effect will this have on all the Chinese Android boxes for sale on Amazon? I think these boxes can use the Android app on Google Play?

  6. Jack Astor says:

    I am OK with, not a big deal in my book.

  7. Bill says:

    That is a stupid move Amazon and childish. Are you going to stop selling clothes because they can’t play Prime Video? I just spent $67 on prime and not renewing membership next year. If I thought you were going to turn into Apple I would not have paid even the price of $67 for prime. I believe alot of people are going leave Amazon over this because that means that if you don’t like something you will stop selling it just because……

    • Anthony says:

      I don’t think they’re doing it just because they don’t like those products. If that were the case, I’m pretty sure they’d stop selling Roku devices too. More than likely they’re doing this because they’ve had people buy the devices and assume that because they got it from Amazon that it would support Amazon Prime Video and would then whine and cry that they paid for Prime for nothing and demand a refund for both the device and the service.

      • GeorgeNeogeo71 says:

        To be fair, I am not sure if the new apple TV will get a amazon video app, but my guess is they will. or they have submitted it to apple and it was denied. as far as Comcast, I think amazon should allow casting form the amazon video app to chromecast. Not sure about nexus player. Amazon has app on ipads and iphones, I have to be leive they would like to have their app on the new apple tv as well.

    • Bill says:

      I jumped to conclusions on this move that Amazon made to stop selling competitive streaming devices. I was wrong the second time this year. I read the excellent article on AFTV news about the decision by Amazon and I think the article shed light on some of the conditions that were put in place by the Google and Apple platforms, so I have changed my mind and will probably renew prime membership.

  8. smee says:

    I read elsewhere that it was to “protest” the fact that Apple and Google want a cut of all in-app purchases. Amazon doesn’t want to pay Google every time we buy (or rent?) a movie in the Prime app. If Google won’t let them sell things without taking a cut, they won’t sell Google’s “competing” product.

    • Pedro says:

      That is just how it works, to use google or iOS payment services you need to give them 30%.

      This can be circumvented in android, by having your app be available on other sources than google play store, like they have done for the Amazon app store.

  9. Justin says:

    Yeah pretty lame move. The reason I don’t like apple is because of how closed off and controlling they can be. This makes them at least as bad.

  10. Paul Taylor says:

    This is a bad move and, in my opinion, is very short sighted on Amazon’s part. The new Apple TV is going to have an app store. They should just write an app for TvOS, just like they’ve done for IOS. This move makes it sound like they have no intention of ever bringing their app to the Apple TV.

  11. pmcd says:

    Something is really strange in all of this. It makes no sense. Must be either a mistake or perhaps an attempt to pressure Google and Apple to allow a Prime app?

    • RideOrDie says:

      My guess is it has more to due with terms of purchases made in an Amazon video app and what they would be required to pay to either Apple or Google. Amazon might be using this as a negotiation tactic that could actually open up the living room more then ever. If they all decide to play nice and allow each others content on the other devices.

    • Chahk says:

      What do you mean “pressure Google and Apple to allow a Prime app?” Neither company is disallowing it to begin with. What Amazon wrote in a letter to sellers is a bold-faced lie. Chromecast, Nexus Player, and Apple TV will not stop Amazon Prime Video app. Amazon themselves have refused to publish it on these platforms, and refused to add cast support into their Android app.

      This is a dick move on their part, an attempt to push their own hardware (Fire TV and Fire TV Stick) and shut out competition. I would not be surprised if the FTC isn’t already looking at this, with their lawyers salivating over a hefty fine over blatant anti-competitive behavior.

      • Mark says:

        Amazon can sell whatever they want for whatever reasons they want. The FTC can’t tell them to sell or not to sell a product.

  12. Dustin says:

    Google isn’t keeping Prime Video off of Chromecast or Android TV. Let’s get real here folks. Only time will tell to see what this does to the market. What I want to know is what to game and app developers that make apps and games from Google Play, iOS, and Fire TV think about this? Im in the market for an upgrade, either Fire TV 2 or Nvidia Shield. Leaning towards Nvidia.

  13. JackFrost71 says:

    I think this will backfire badly for Amazon. After all, they do make revenue from sales of those devices. Add that loss to the negative PR and it sounds like a recipe for Shizen

  14. Michael says:

    The other part of the story is Walmart sells Apple TVs as well as Chromecasts but not Amazon FTV’s. Guess the winner is Roku in this case. Carried by both big retailers.

  15. b0b says:

    There is more to this than it looks.

    Even if Google probably doesn’t prevent Amazon to support Prime on Google Cast devices, it cannot be supported on Fire tablets (for playing on a Cast Device) because cast support depends on Google Play Services, available only on Google Android devices.

    I think that Amazon was willing to support Prime on Google Cast devices (after all, there are clients on Roku, Xbox, etc), but not at the expense of it not working on Fire tablets (How confusing it would be!).

    Google is not exactly friendly with Chromecast support only possible (SDK) on:

    – Google Android
    – iOS
    – Chrome

    Anythings else doesn’t exist for Google.

    • Pedro says:

      Well to be fair, Amazon went their own way forking Android to make their own changes and have their store as primary, so it is their fault that they don’t have support for google services, and they probably don’t want them anyway.

      I don’t believe Google will ever do any development of SDK’s to benefit an unauthorized forked version of their OS.

  16. Stewiebee says:

    James is right roku here in the uk does not have amazon prime simply because sky invested in roku to promote now tv.So before blaming amazon look at roku who started all this in the uk not giving prime.

  17. natebetween says:

    In the meantime, I run AFTV at my house, due to my ability to run KODI so well using my NAS, the ability to access Prime content, as well as Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, HBO. But I can’t access local content since my files are all >4GB.

    For my friends and family who either don’t have a NAS, or it’s too confusing to set up, I run Nexus player with “native” KODI which works GREAT with local storage….but if they want Amazon, HBO, Showtime (from their cable provider, not the stand-alone subscription versions), then they are SOL.

    As much as I love AFTV…I still want a one-stop solution so badly!

    • fjtorres says:

      You can get one for around US$150-200: Look into Intel’s Stick PC. Runs native Kodi. Native Windows apps. No restrictions.

      Or, if you only want a few of the name-brand streaming services and full local streaming features, you can get the WD Live stb starting around US $60 or so. (I love mine. It supports USB hubs and works as both server and stb.

      • natebetween says:

        I have a WDTV SMP and I love it for ease of use on locally played media and the ability to install custome FW and set up a movie jukebox (local media AND through NAS) INDEPENDENT of KODI…but all around, KODI still wins for ease of use and features, and unfortunately doesn’t work on WDTV SMP…AFAIK.

        • fjtorres says:

          Which is where the Stick PC comes in since it literally does everything; run Kodi, serve files, stream commercial sites. And you get a choice of Windows and Linux versions. :)

          I’m not in the market right now but I’d sooner drop $150 on the stick PC than $99 on a streamer box. Different tastes, of course, but nothing beats a PC for flexibility.

  18. AFTVvintage says:

    What you’re having now is a very good workaround solution.
    Don’t go for one-stop solution or purchase All-in-on device.

    one-stop solution = SPF
    all-in-one device = SPF

    SPF = Single Point of Failure

  19. BH14 says:

    Very simple business decision which makes sense. Amazon prefers you to buy their Amazon device and prefer you to use their Amazon services that come with it (VOD or prime). Go order online from best buy or walmart if you want chromecast.

  20. “It’s a 3-way battle of the 500lb gorillas in a caged ring to steal our wallet! We are are betting on our favorite monkey but the fight is fixed. We lose.”
    Everyone wants a cheap all-in-one solution for the perfect streaming box but there are too many greedy hands wanting more…

  21. Justin says:

    Of course they have a legal right to sell what they want on their store but it doesn’t mean it is ethical or a good move.

    I would figure apple and google would want prime video on their media streamers but amazon wants their fire tv to have that as a selling point over their competitors. They allow it on devices they don’t see as competitors like roku. Roku isn’t seen as a content provider like apple and google.

    If it really is about not confusing the customer they can put a note on all incompatible devices that it doesn’t work with prime video.

  22. Pedro says:

    I also see Shield TV, MXQ Amlogic and Matrix G-Box there on the first 25 top sellers which don’t have Amazon instant app, will they ban those too? They are probably “confusing their customers”.

  23. Dave the Mainiac says:

    Great. I was going to sell 2 Apple TV 3rd generation box on Amazon once the new Apple TV’s come out. This ticks me off. Apple does an an app for Amazon Instant Video in the app store and i have it on my iPhone 6. Can’t remember if you can Airplay to the Apple TV or not.

  24. patt says:

    I never saw Amazon allow or make prime video for Android TV which I would love! but no.. the sony tv app got disabled real quick.

    Makes no sence.

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