Report: Amazon to halt sales of Chromecast and Apple TV

Bloomberg reports that by the end of October, Amazon will no longer carry or allow its third-party sellers to sell Google's Chromecast or the Apple TV. The news went out in an email to third-party sellers yesterday. Amazon says it's making the move because the Chromecast and Apple TV don't "interact well" with Prime Video.

Other living room boxes are apparently safe. All three current-generation consoles—the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii—have apps for Prime Video. Blooomberg says Roku's streaming boxes will stay, too, since they also stream Amazon's service. The report doesn't mention Android TV, but Prime Video isn't available on that platform.

The lack of Prime Video on the Chromecast and Apple TV seems like a weak excuse to drop sales. The Chromecast is capable of displaying video from any Android device, and while Amazon doesn't have its video service available for download from Google Play, it's available to install on any phone or tablet on Amazon's own Android app store.

Likewise, the Apple TV can mirror iOS devices thanks to AirPlay, and the company has published an app for the service on Apple's iOS app store. At least one TR contributor has successfully mirrored Prime Video from an iPhone to the Apple TV. It seemed to work "just fine." The recently-announced version of the Apple TV will ship with its own app store, which seems like the sort of thing Amazon could use to publish a Prime Video tvOS app.

Some of the analysts that spoke with Bloomberg think Amazon's decision will cost it sales. "Fewer than 20 percent of Amazon customers are Prime members," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg. "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." We agree.

Ben Funk

Sega nerd and guitar lover

Comments closed
    • Prospero424
    • 4 years ago

    This decision will be reversed, probably as early as next week. Mark my words.

    Between the bad publicity and at the very least the raising of eyebrows from regulators who are already wary of their dominance in book publishing, management will be FORCED to see that this move is counter to their medium- to long-term interests in just about every way.

    It’s just not worth their envisioned short-term boost to their products/service line that will inevitably fail to materialize, anyway.

    • VincentHanna
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<]Amazon says it's making the move because the Chromecast and Apple TV don't "interact well" with Prime Video.[/quote<] uhh, neither does a 55gallon drum of personal lubricant, but amazon still carries that. So ...

    • NovusBogus
    • 4 years ago

    Begun, the trade war has.

      • kvndoom
      • 4 years ago

      The war will be over as soon as Google decides to remove Amazon from search results. I have a feeling I know who’ll scream uncle first. 😉

    • kvndoom
    • 4 years ago

    Dick move, Amazon.

    • Billstevens
    • 4 years ago

    Well we know Amazon’s owner is a sociopath and a dick, so moves like that are not unexpected…

    • Mentawl
    • 4 years ago

    Huh, and here I thought Amazon were in the business of selling goods. Guess not!

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      Hasn’t been for about 5 years. Their business is now getting customers to buy into their ecosystem.

      Personally, I find it to be a pretty nice ecosystem, so I’ve been diving in head first.

        • VincentHanna
        • 4 years ago

        My prime account expires in 15 days, and I’m not renewing. Every time they make a move these days, it seems to be negative toward consumers.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 4 years ago

    Welcome to the future of Amazon. If you don’t do what they say and favor their services, then they’ll remove your products from their inventory. This is what happens when one company rules the roost of retail.

    They get uppity.

    • barich
    • 4 years ago

    So they refuse to write apps for those platforms, as a result they don’t “interact well” with Prime Video, and now they refuse to sell or allow the devices to be sold?

    As a retailer, they should be selling what people want to buy. Force them elsewhere for a Chromecast or Apple TV and maybe they don’t come back.

    As a content provider, they should want that content to be available on as many platforms as possible to increase the number of potential customers.

    As a company that makes competing hardware? Well, that’s where it gets interesting. But I’ve never had the impression that Amazon makes much money on Fire devices. They’re sold at value prices to get people into Amazon’s ecosystem. But that goes back to my previous point: it’s all about the content. That’s what they want to sell. Why restrict so much what devices can play it?

    • slowriot
    • 4 years ago

    Wonder how long they’ll stick to this. Bezos can be awfully stubborn but this is a really, really bad idea.

    • iq100
    • 4 years ago

    Someone should start a restraint of trade, unfair practices, anti-trust, or something lawsuit against this Amazon new behavior. No product that Amazon sells needs to work in all user environments. Sheesh .. it’s called the REQUIREMENTS and is part of a product’s specifications. The user reads the REQUIREMENTS and makes sure he has what is needed to use the products. File a lawsuit NOW.
    🙂

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      Are there multiple well known established brands where you can buy* all these from online? Yes.

      Okay, there goes that.

      • VincentHanna
      • 4 years ago

      I agree. All these giant retailers should be forced to sell everything…

      But don’t stop at amazon. If they have to sell Apple TV, then Apple should have to sell fire TV, right? Google, of course should have to sell Roku. Barnes and noble should have to sell Kindles, etc.

    • southrncomfortjm
    • 4 years ago

    K, I’ll just buy them somewhere else.

    • albundy
    • 4 years ago

    i’m surprised amazon didnt stop selling other brand name smartphones so they can promote their own failed version that is no longer being continued.

    on another note, what does Prime Video have that’s worth jumping for?

      • davidbowser
      • 4 years ago

      The only thing on Prime that is broadly popular/valuable is the CBS exclusive content.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 4 years ago

        They have HBO stuff that’s 1+ year old, which isn’t bad.

          • sweatshopking
          • 4 years ago

          So do 1000000 free streaming sites.

            • albundy
            • 4 years ago

            It’s like you’ve known me all my life!

    • xeridea
    • 4 years ago

    So 20% of Amazon users have Prime. Of those that also are interested in a Chromecast or AppleTV, I bet 95% will just order somewhere else since Amazon is refusing.

    • tanker27
    • 4 years ago

    I thought I read ‘somewhere’ that Apple tried to get Amazon to release their app api for Apple TV. I mean really there is already an existing app for iOS. /shrug

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    Anyone with half a brain can see right through this charade. Amazon is clearly using their market position as one of the country’s (world’s?) most popular online retailers to push their own products. Most would call that “conflict of interest”

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      yep. but what you gonna do? they’re not a monopoly yet, and also not profitable. Can’t say i blame them. Going into media production was a bad idea for them from the beginning.

        • torquer
        • 4 years ago

        Actually Amazon did make a profit last quarter

          • Freon
          • 4 years ago

          Shows in their prices, too. $99/year + mediocre pricing is no longer the same deal it once was.

            • Welch
            • 4 years ago

            I don’t know how you get off saying its Mediocre pricing. Its just all inclusive, meaning you may pay for something you don’t want or use.

            Free Shipping, faster shipping, cheaper expedited shipping and the ability to add 5 family members who get the same benefits. This is pretty much my main reason for buying into Prime, but then again I’m the minority in that shipping a few orders here would cost me the $99.99 Prime membership and I order 10s of thounsands of dollars a year on amazon.

            Music service, in attempt to compete with the likes of Pandora\Google Music\iTunes.

            Book Lending to compete with the Nook

            Unlimited Photo storage online to compete with the likes of Photobucket or other typesnof services that I don’t use…

            In the end, its all about taking on way to many competitors at the same time. They haven’t stopped and decided to conquer one at a time. They are going with the “One price wins all” strategy.

            Having prime I still have Netflix and I still use free pandora, I don’t own a kindle or use the books because it is specific to kindle owners. You are supposed to buy their hardware to get the maximum benefit out of your membership… its the Amazon way.

            Again, I save probably well over $1000 a year in shipping and I get my items within a week instead of 2+ weeks.

        • torquer
        • 4 years ago

        Everything is about driving prime memberships. By any account some of the Amazon stuff like Transparent likely does just that. Amazon only ever plays the long game so it remains to be seen whether this strategy is effective

      • Shouefref
      • 4 years ago

      It also shows how dangerous it is if somebody gets a monopoly worldwide on sales or some kind of goods.
      That’s the danger of the amazons, microsoft’s, google’s and facebooks of this world. They all are companies to be avoided.
      Luckily some are easy to avoid, like fb, others, on the other hand, are much more difficult to avoid, like ms.

        • curtisb
        • 4 years ago

        Having a monopoly is not illegal. If you offer the best product in a given category, it stands to reason that you’re eventually going to have a monopoly in that market…especially if what competitors offer is subpar. I will clarify that I’m not saying Amazon has the best product in this case. I don’t think anyone clearly has that position in this particular market…they’re all pretty even.

        What’s illegal is using that position to stifle competition. But in cases like Intel and AMD CPUs for the last decade or so, Intel can’t help that AMD can’t engineer themselves out of a wet paper bag. People and businesses are quite simply going to purchase the better product.

      • southrncomfortjm
      • 4 years ago

      I don’t see how “conflict of interest” fits. There’s nothing wrong with Amazon deciding not to carry another product. Only thing here is that the reason they want to do it is completely transparent. Apple did the same thing with headphones after buying Beats.

        • DPete27
        • 4 years ago

        How is it NOT conflict of interest. Amazon is an e-tailer. They have also have a service and product (fireTV vs AppleTV vs Chromecast) that competes with others in the market. = Conflict of Interest (e-tailer + product manufacturer).

        They don’t want to sell their competitors’ products because that reduces sales of their own product. Once this takes effect, if you search [url=https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=streaming+media+player&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Astreaming+media+player<]Streaming Media Player[/url<] on Amazon, they'll effectively eliminate competition for their product, hence bolstering sales. PS: odd that Roku wasn't mentioned, they're pretty popular

          • southrncomfortjm
          • 4 years ago

          It’s not a conflict of interest because there is no fiduciary duty. Sorry, I’m a lawyer. Words have meaning.

          Roku escaped the wrath since it has an Amazon video app.

          • Pwnstar
          • 4 years ago

          Roku wasn’t mentioned because Amazon still plans to keep selling it.

          • VincentHanna
          • 4 years ago

          Amazon’s only interest is profit.

          They don’t have a “duty” to sell everything… therefore their interest in selling products that don’t compete with their own services. No conflict of interest.

          By definition.

      • NovusBogus
      • 4 years ago

      So? This is how vertically integrated companies work. Try buying a Dell at the Apple Store, sign a T-Mobile contract at an AT&T kiosk, order a Whopper at Taco Bell, etc. It’s kind of a dick move, sure, but Apple and Google won’t have any problems finding other retailers.

        • curtisb
        • 4 years ago

        Agreed…you also won’t find Apple selling Amazon Fire TV’s. Apple would tell you it’s a conflict of interest for them [b<]to[/b<] sell an Amazon Fire TV.

    • Waco
    • 4 years ago

    This move is entirely pointless and bad for Amazon.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Who can pee the farthest??

    • chuckula
    • 4 years ago

    If that’s how things are going to go down, I vote that we rename Amazon Prime to be Amazon Megatron.

      • atari030
      • 4 years ago

      Autobots….Unite?

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