Changes are underway at Amazon, as they so often seem to be. Amazon has banned the sale of Apple and Google video-streaming devices that are not compatible with its own video service. It will stop selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast to customers, encouraging users to purchase their own streaming services, Fire TV and Prime Video.
There won’t be any new listings for the competitors’ products and existing inventory will be removed from Amazon’s site on October 29th. Amazon recognizes that Prime Video is an important part of the service, though currently fewer than 20 percent of customers are actually Prime members. Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, says that Amazon’s sale of competitors’ products sends a bad message to the consumer.
“What about the 80 percent who want an Apple TV to stream Netflix? I think that the excuse of avoiding customer confusion is a not-so-veiled attempt to favor Amazon first-party products over third-party products, and think it was a bad move,” Pachter says.
Amazon will continue to sell media devices that work well with Prime Video, but any that don’t will no longer be sold by the marketplace giant.
The alleged reason that the Apple and Google devices don’t work with Prime Video seems largely unfounded, however, according to TechCrunch, because Prime Video works just fine on those devices. “If these rival companies were taking anti-competitive stances of their own…it seems they wouldn’t draw the line at keeping Prime Video off their connected TV devices. They’d ban Prime Video across the board,” the site argues.
TechCrunch also argues that the decision not to sell Apple or Google devices comes from the simple fact that Amazon decided not to build for those devices. The hope is likely that customers will choose to buy Prime Video or Fire TV instead, but it looks like consumers will have to go to other places to purchase those newly-banned devices.