The wait is over! Almost two years after Google and Amazon kicked off a war of attrition, the two companies have finally reached an agreement. Announced this morning, the deal means that YouTube is coming back to Amazon's Fire TV devices, while the Prime Video app will add support for casting to Chromecast, and become available on more Android TVs. They say the first step is the hardest, and we hope this is true, as the two companies are still continuing discussions around bringing YouTube back to the Echo Show.
Google will bring YouTube services back to Amazon's Fire TV devices at some point "later this year". First up is the native YouTube app which will launch in the coming months, followed by YouTube TV and lastly, the child-friendly YouTube Kids, by the end of 2019. Fire TV devices will also become fully certified for YouTube and offer 4K HDR playback at 60 fps on supported devices.
In return, Amazon will add Chromecast integration to its Prime Video mobile app allowing users to stream a show or movie of their choice to their TV using one of Google's streaming dongles. Additionally, Prime Video will also become widely available on Android TVs as, up until now, it was only available on select Android TVs.
The most notable absence is the Echo Show, which was one of the early casualties of this war between two heavyweight tech giants. Back in 2017, the Echo Show was the first smart display on the market and one of its main uses was as a helping hand in the kitchen. Until one morning, where Google dropped support for the Echo Show and so began a stand-off between the two companies. The Echo Show is missing from today's announcement, but as cited by the Verge, a person familiar with the matter suggests that the two companies are continuing to engage in conversation.
Neither company has commented on the specifics of their deal, nor how they finally found a common ground. Both companies are also involved in a battle for the smart home, with Amazon acquiring companies like Ring and Eero to provide an alternative to Google's own and Nest-branded products. Amazon resumed selling the Chromecast in December of last year, but today's deal is strictly for services and doesn't apply to hardware.
Ultimately, it's nice to see the two companies get along and this deal should mean less friction and a better overall experience for customers of either product or service.
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Nirave Gondhia has been writing about the mobile industry for over a decade and began his career selling and fixing phones in the UK. He's used every flagship smartphone over the past five years and carries at least two phones at all times - currently, he's using the iPhone 11 Pro, [Samsung Galaxy Fold and Motorola RAZR. Say hi to him on Twitter at @nirave.