Amazon is pulling two of its bestselling electronics from their shelves because the Apple and Google video-streaming boxes are not compatible with the Seattle company’s Prime Video service.
In an email sent to third-party retailers, Amazon said they will no longer be able to create new listings for either the Apple TV or Google’s Chromecast, and all existing inventory will be pulled from the online store’s shelves starting Oct. 29, according to Bloomberg.
The decision to ban the competitors’ products is one of the first major demonstrations of the retailer flexing its muscles when it comes to influencing the video-streaming market. As of now, Prime Video doesn’t run easily on the rival’s devices.
In a statement sent to Bloomberg, an Amazon spokesperson said, “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
We’ve reached out to Amazon, as well, and will update the post when we hear back.
The full statement from Amazon is as follows: “Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, XBOX, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices.”
Without a doubt, Prime Video has become a core component to the Amazon Prime membership program. The $99 annual membership program gives customers two-day shipping on some items, and access to a large library of streaming video of content. The company has said repeatedly that many customers first discover Amazon Prime, thanks to the video service, but then end up becoming loyal shoppers. Just today, it announced a multi-year deal with CBS, pumping up the service even more with exclusive access to multiple series from the studio this summer.
For Google or Apple, losing Amazon as a major retailer could potentially harm sales of the video-streaming devices. The Google Chromecast device is currently the sixth best-selling electronic on the site, and Apple TV is the 14th best-selling device. Amazon’s own Fire TV Stick device ranks as the second-best selling electronic (behind Amazon’s own $50 7-inch Kindle tablet.)
Additionally, the ban corresponds with both Amazon and Apple announcing new versions of their own video-streaming devices. The new Apple TV device, which added Siri integration and video gaming capabilities, is coming in late October, and Amazon announced a new video-streaming device with its Alexa voice-recognition software, which is already available.
For Apple, this represents a further splitting of the two companies, given that Amazon already doesn’t sell the iPhone.