Vizio to appease Walmart’s request by removing Amazon Prime Video button from their TV remotes

As if we aren’t all tired of streaming TV rivalries between big companies affecting consumers negatively, here’s a new one for you. Walmart has told television manufacturer Vizio that they need to remove the Amazon Prime Video button from their remote if they want to continue to sell their TVs in Walmart stores, according to a report by The Information. Vizio has allegedly agreed to remove the Prime Video button, which is one of 6 streaming service buttons, alongside Vudu, Netflix, Xumo, Hulu, and Redbox, on their latest remotes.

Walmart has long been rumored to be working on a new streaming service of its own to rival Prime Video. Walmart acquired Vudu, notably in the #1 position on Vizio remotes, in 2010, but hadn’t done much with the streaming service since. Vudu is notably one of the largest streaming services that have never had an Amazon Fire TV app, likely due to Walmart and Amazon’s rivalry. Walmart sold Vudu to Fandango earlier this year, which finally resulted in some of Vudu’s content library becoming available on Fire TV devices through the FandangoNow app.

The usefulness of streaming service buttons on remotes is debatable. Some consumers see them as advertisement nuisances, while others find them genuinely helpful as the quickest way to launch a particular service. Regardless of whether you like them or not, one company shouldn’t use their leverage to suppress the button of a rival’s button. It’s expected that Vizio TVs, which run their own in-house SmartCast OS, will continue to have a Prime Video app, even with the button’s removal. It’s unknown if the button will be removed from all future Vizio remotes or only those bundled with Vizio TVs sold at Walmart.

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8 comments
  1. Jay says:

    Wouldn’t Amazon have some sort of agreement with Vizio about including the Prime Video button on the remote? I guess it’s an agreement Vizio can get out of. I wonder if some sort of payment to Amazon from Vizio will be required.

  2. TechyChris says:

    I don’t really have a problem with this AS LONG AS the buttons on a particular device’s remote re-programmable.
    I know on Amazon and Etsy there are cottage industries making a good living manufacturing custom cut stickers for all kinds of devices to account for this. I guess it’s prudent for the consumer to investigate whether a device they are interested in can have its remotes (or other buttons) re-programmed BEFORE purchase if it matters to them.

  3. Rik Emmett says:

    I think I would be annoyed if I bought the TV and it didn’t have the prime button, but they don’t have a Netflix button either. Will amazon tell Vizo to put the prim button back if they want to sell on amazon?

  4. Me Too says:

    Maybe Amazon will offer free Firestick 4Ks to Walmart Vizio TV buyers! Boom! Lol.

  5. Adam says:

    Not really partial to branded buttons on my remote, but neither do I buy electronics I care about from Walmart. Make no mistake, I love and shop WalMart, but they have a practice of using their muscle, much like they are here, to persuade manufacturers to have “special” models of normal products that are lower cost for sale in Walmart.

    I got burned by this with a monitor I bought at Walmart. Their website listed the model, that I picked up in store, as having the hardware feature I wanted. When I got it, it didn’t have the feature. Mind you, the feature was listen on Walmart webpage for the item. I then noticed that the monitor’s serial number had a single extra letter. I determined it was a model specifically only sold in Walmart stores. Just a little bit cheaper than the model it was nearly identical to sold everywhere else.

    Since then, I’ve been sure to never buy an electronic I cared about from them. All sorts of other stuff, sure, but not electronics that might be “special” models without me knowing about it. I would consider my TV to be among these items.

    Great to see you back, Elias. I’ve moved on from Fire TV’s, but you and your site are a tremendous information resource, and a great daily visit. :-)

  6. OSWEGOHillbilly says:

    I can share last what buttons are on the remote I use the remote once to set up the TV and then it’s in the drawer and I use the fire TV remote to do everything

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