dotunderscore by Brian Hough

Bloomberg: Amazon to stop selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast

Spencer Soper, for Bloomberg:

Amazon.com Inc. will stop selling media-streaming devices from Google Inc. and Apple Inc. that aren’t easily compatible with its video service, the latest example of the company using its clout to promote products that fit with its own retailing strategy.

The Seattle-based Web retailer sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast since those devices don’t “interact well” with Prime Video. No new listings for the products will be allowed and posting of existing inventory will be removed Oct. 29, Amazon said. Prime Video doesn’t run easily on its rival’s hardware.

What makes this so disappointing isn’t just that Amazon is using their power as a market leader to stop a sizable amount of people from purchasing competitors’ products, it’s that internal politics are clearly getting in the way of a quality user experience.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been burned by the lack of Prime Video support on my Apple TV. Prime Video has a fairly sizable library of new television shows (it’s the only place I could find to legally stream early episodes of Season 2 of Extant), and Amazon Prime is an excellent value once you factor in Amazon’s included Cloud Storage and free, 2-day shipping.

Yet as great of a deal as it is, I can’t take advantage of a huge amount of what I pay for because either Apple, Amazon, or both (and, by the looks of it, Google) refuse to play nice. And as a consumer, what can I do? I can use crummy workarounds - like AirPlay, which has been only getting worse and worse over time; I can buy Amazon’s Fire TV, which isn’t a very consumer friendly option. Or I could find alternate, less than entirely legal sources.

Let me just say, despite Amazon’s best efforts here, I did not buy a Fire TV.

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