Google to block YouTube on Amazon Fire TV

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 6, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Misc, Music and Video

Google will block access to YouTube on Amazon's Fire TV from January 1, 2018, and on Echo Show effective immediately.

If you fire up the YouTube application on the Fire TV right now, you are greeted with a notification that tells you that YouTube will become unavailable on the device starting January 1st, 2018.

Google pulled YouTube from Amazon Echo Show devices several months ago, but Amazon managed to get it back by redirecting users of its device to the web version of YouTube. While far from an ideal solution, it ensured that customers could access YouTube video content again using the device.

The following screenshot shows the notification on a German Fire TV. It states that YouTube won't be accessible anymore from January 1st, 2018 on and highlights that there are plenty of other devices that YouTube is supported on.

fire tv youtube

The Verge received a statement from YouTube in regards to the decision:

“​We’ve been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services. But Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest's latest products. Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”

According to it, Amazon is to blame for the removal of YouTube from Echo Show and Fire TV.  Since YouTube is not blocked immediately on the Fire TV, it is possible that Google uses the threat of removal as leverage.

Closing Words

It is clear that both companies fight the fight on the back of users to push their own products. The companies blame each other for blocking products or removing access to services, but the one who suffers is the the user. Blocking access to services for any reason but technical ones is an anti-consumer move.

Google to block YouTube on Amazon Fire TV
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Google to block YouTube on Amazon Fire TV
Google will block access to YouTube on Amazon's Fire TV from January 1, 2018, and on Echo Show effective immediately.
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  1. Raymond Day said on December 27, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Can still buy Google WiFi on Amazon. I guess if Amazon makes there own mash WiFi they will stop selling Google WiFi too.

  2. Stefan said on December 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Google who ? Haven’t used Google the last couple of years. It is almost blocked at 100%.

  3. someonesomewhere said on December 10, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    What’s the problem with Roku in the EU?

    You can buy one just fine (got mine which is the cheapest (Express+ I think) model on for ~40 eur (with shipping).

    Now all the channels aren’t there but things like local streaming and Plex work just fine (and Youtube, TED talks and there’s a bunch of others I haven’t tried (both free and payable)). The only thing I miss is HBO GO support but oh well, works fine on the isp’s iptv stb. I’m sure there’s less content than in the USA but the EU (especially smaller countries) get shafted there on any device anyway, so nothing new there.

    The hw could be a bit better (like 5GHz ac wifi support) but then I do have the cheapest model and it’s more me complaining than an actual problem. Every video except one (American Made but that has to be a problem with the video and how it was encoded) played from Plex workes fine (quality set to original which says not recommended) including a few high bitrate 4k ones (not that my tv does 4k :( ). For the 40 eur I paid that’s quite good no?

    What am I missing here that the US version would do too?

  4. David said on December 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Bah. I’ll just sideload it on my FireTV. Just like they said Kodi cannot be installed on Amazon devices, I use it all the time. The Amazon Fire TV hardware is awesome, which is why I stick to using it. I just use the app launcher to launch Kodi, and now YouTube.

    1. superlarz said on December 7, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      If money is no cost I would go with Shield. I have both and do use the fireTV box occasionally for some apps not supported on AndroidTV (they are all supported by chromecast though, but I typically prefer a native app.) My Shield get much more use and the ability to ‘cast’ things if you wanna share a youtube video with someone else in the room or something like that its so easy to do. The fireTV interface is improved but is still very cluttered and has ads. Shield hardware is superior to competition too. That being said, if money is no consideration I think Shield is an easy choice.

    2. Dimitri said on December 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      You are a pirate. According to Amazon Kodi has being removed from their store because they claim it’s illegal. Anything that doesn’t fit their agenda is bad or illegal. If non tech savvy people learn how to sideload and start sideloading Kodi like you they will find other ways to block it.
      Also if Google wants Youtube blocked on firetv it will be blocked for all non tech savvy people. They have no idea why to bypass blocks.
      That’s why I have a HTPC. Amazing hardware of my choice and all the freedom I need.

  5. JohnS said on December 7, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Amazon is the real evil. Google is a saint compared to Amazon. I will never forget how Amazon ended its unlimited cloud storage plan. They lied to people with unlimited storage plans and when they got the userbase they wanted they cancelled it. Pure evil.
    PS: Go Nvidia Shield! Kill the cancer known as FireTV.

  6. Rick A. said on December 7, 2017 at 1:09 am

    As much as i hate Google, i have to side with them on this one. Give Amazon and Jeff Bezos a taste of their own medicine.

    But regardless, F**k them both, especially Scroogle…..

  7. Wayfarer said on December 6, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I try to stay away (not always successfully in this day and age) from both Google and Amazon products. In both cases they market only one product – us.

  8. o_O said on December 6, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Crony capitalism at the expanse of customers.

  9. Yuliya said on December 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    They actually try to kill each other. Hahahahahaha =) Consumers are better off without these horrible products anyway, so nothing of value is being lost here. There are far better, more open, alternatives.

  10. AAA said on December 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I had a beautiful Logitech Revue, and then one by one Google started pulling out the apps. It worked way better than my current Chromecast; as it has an atom processor in it. Yup, the big cats fight, and us, the mice suffer… ☹️

  11. Chris said on December 6, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Google sucks. Another negative effect of allowing a company to become too large and own too many properties.

    1. Joe K. said on December 6, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      I’m no Google fan, in fact the only place I used Chrome is on my cheap Chromebook that I use for small, quick, tasks.

      That being said, this is a situation where I think both parties shoulder plenty of blame. Amazon has used their influence as a leading global retailer to shut out both Google’s streaming devices and the Apple TV from their store because they wanted to push people towards their Fire TV platform. Amazon also continues to release cheap Android-based tablets that provide a lesser user experience because they do not have the Play Store (yes, I know you can side-load it easily). Finally, Amazon until very recently, did not allow their Prime Video app to be in the Play Store or the tvOS store.

      Both sides deserve equal blame here, with the consumer ultimately being the real loser in this fight.

      1. Rush said on December 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm

        Agree, both sides shoulder blame.

        But Google can make excuses as to why and blah blah…the real reason…? IMO
        Google is pushing YouTube TV and does not want amazon to compete.

    2. No... said on December 6, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Amazon sucks. They play a very dirty game by banning Google products. What Google is doing is self defense.

      1. tom42 said on December 8, 2017 at 7:29 am

        Google is blocking access to a publicly open website (FireTV youtube app is just a wrapped for on devices/apps made by a certain company, and yet they claim to support net neutrality.

        Where will they stop, how long until they block firefox users?

  12. Joe K. said on December 6, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    All the more reason to simply purchase a Roku. Their devices aren’t perfect, the interface is a bit outdated and you can only “limit” ad-tracking rather than outright blocking it, but you also don’t have the worry about stuff like this happening since Roku plays nice with everyone not named Apple (for obvious reasons). Plus, Roku’s products perform a heck of a lot better than Amazon’s in my experience.

    1. TelV said on December 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      Roku is too limited. If you live in the US, then fine, but not in Europe. Amazon on the other hand is freely available on both sides of the Pond.

    2. Darren said on December 6, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Exactly. Competition is bloodying the top dogs. Allows for others to make ways into the market. May be annoying but it’s the way it goes.

  13. Boxhead said on December 6, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    How terrible. Imagine all the poor people with Amazon devices who would have to find something else to watch, or even might be forced to talk to other human beings since there is nothing else to watch. A nightmare coming true.

  14. kevin said on December 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    What a very childish and petty thing of Google to do. It’s also why I’ll stick to using a generic Linux box instead of one of these walled garden devices. Other benefits are more privacy and freedom.

    1. Silo said on December 7, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Can provide some details on the generic linux box you have?

    2. Joe K. said on December 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      I would argue Amazon was also plenty childish by blocking the sale of Google’s competing products on their store in the name of “customer satisfaction”. In short, customers were buying Chromecasts more than Fire TV sticks and Amazon didn’t like that. Both sides have plenty of blame to be shared in this “fight”.

      1. Kevin said on December 6, 2017 at 8:16 pm

        The really sad part though is (while Google and Amazon are busy fighting each other), the FCC is preparing to give AT&T and Comcast the green light to throttle both of them by doing away with net neutrality!

        The Comcasts and AT&Ts will then prioritize the video services that *they* offer above those of Amazon or Google, doing things like exempting themselves from data caps and slowing down connections to third party video services.

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