Amazon confirms that it will stop selling competitors to its Fire TV
Resellers told not to list Apple TV or Google Chromecast in their Amazon listings as Amazon Prime Video is not included in those TV streaming devices
The online retailer Amazon has told resellers that they can no longer include listings for products that are competitive to Amazon’s own Prime Video – that would include the Apple TV and Google Chromecast.
The move was justified by Amazon because the company said those products did not have support for Amazon’s Prime Video platform – the inference being that Apple and Google are themselves preventing Amazon from being able to provide its service on those platforms.
(To be clear, Amazon has a video app inside the Apple App Store, but not the Apple TV. An iPhone or iPad owner could, of course, AirPlay to their Apple TV using the Amazon Video app. Amazon has its app on the Roku so one would guess that Roku is not among the products being banned from Amazon.)
The move could, of course, open Amazon up to some additional retaliation as both Apple and Google own important platforms for Amazon. For instance, many iOS owners have Kindle reading apps on their devices, as well as the Amazon Video app. Should a turf war begin would Amazon have far more to lose than Apple or Google?
Amazon has sent out the same email response to media outlets seeking to confirm the ban:
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.
Earlier in the day, Amazon also announced that it had reached a new multi-year, multi-series agreement with CBS to make Prime Video the exclusive subscription streaming service for three new CBS summer series through 2018. Note that these are summer series not the fall prime time schedule. Nonetheless, Amazon appears to be getting a bit aggressive, and certainly more serious, about its streaming TV ambitions. It could get interesting once Apple finally releases its new Apple TV later this month.
Here is Amazon’s CBS announcement:
SEATTLE, Wash. – October 1, 2015 — Building on the success of Amazon’s exclusive in-season licensing agreement for Under the Dome and Extant, Amazon and CBS Corporation today announced a new multi-year, multi-series agreement to make Prime Video the exclusive subscription streaming home for three new CBS summer series through 2018. The first new CBS series included in this deal will be next summer’s highly anticipated comic-thriller BrainDead, which Prime members in the U.S. will be able to stream just four days after broadcast at no additional charge to their membership.
“Prime members have loved having access to series like Under the Dome and Extant just four days after broadcast, and we’re excited to continue to offer in-season availability of more great CBS summer series over the next three years,” said Brad Beale, Amazon Vice President of Digital Video Content Acquisition. “We are also always working to ensure our Prime members have the best selection, and we know they will continue to enjoy unlimited access to a wide array of CBS titles to binge-watch anytime, anywhere.”
“We’re thrilled to build on our relationship with Amazon with new original summer series and more programming from CBS and SHOWTIME,” said Scott Koondel, Chief Corporate Licensing Officer, CBS Corporation. “With a truly original, genre-bending concept from outstanding creative auspices, BrainDead will be one of the most talked-about shows next summer by CBS viewers and Prime members.”
BrainDead is a comic thriller from Robert and Michelle King, acclaimed producers of The Good Wife. Set in the world of D.C. politics, the series follows a young fresh-faced Hill staffer (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) getting her first job in Washington, D.C. and discovering two things: the government has stopped working, and alien spawn have come to Earth and eaten the brains of a growing number of congressmen and Hill staffers.
This deal will also extend and expand CBS and SHOWTIME titles available to Prime members. Popular programming including Medium, The Tudors, The L Word, the original Twin Peaks series, America’s Next Top Model, I Love Lucy, Penn & Teller, The Amazing Race, MacGyver, Brotherhood and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. CBS Films’ available for Prime members include the Golden Globe-nominated films Inside Llewyn Davis and Pride, among others. Prime members can watch CBS titles and more via the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at www.amazon.com/primevideo –Prime members can also download titles on iOS, Android and Fire devices for offline viewing. Customers who are not Prime members can sign-up for a 30-day free trial at www.amazon.com/prime.