back to article Bezos' BAN-HAMMER batters Chromecast, Apple TV

Amazon has decided its own video streaming plans take precedence over customer choice, and has given notice that Chromecast and Apple TV devices will be kicked off its Web store. Scrabbling around for any explanation that doesn't say “we don't like selling competitors' products”, the retailer says instead that products using …

  1. Frank Bough

    Can I assume...

    ...that the usual commentards will weigh in comparing Bezos to L Ron Hubbard, or are Amazon allowed to make business decisions without being compared to Scientology?

    1. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Can I assume...

      Apparently not.

      But what's really going to bake your noodle later on is, would they have weighed in if you hadn't said anything?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone actually use Amazon for tv? last time I checked the latest movie was back to the future part 3, which I might add is the greatest western of all time.

    1. asdf

      darn kids

      Amazon prime has an exclusive on older Sponge Bob and several other Nick shows (of the streaming services). If you are a parent you understand how valuable that is. Otherwise pretty much they share +80% of the same crap with Netflix.

    2. Geoffrey W

      Amazon Prime has some HBO shows that Netflix doesn't. I'm currently plodding my way through "The Wire", and intend to follow up with "Carnivale" both of which I missed first time around. That HBO gangster series is on there too, whatever its called, but I never did care for gangsters.

      Amazon also has "The Man in the High Castle" coming soon which, being a Dick head, I am eagerly awaiting.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Twin Peaks too

        As above.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Joke

        Don't forget....

        That the new show fronted by the old BBC Top Gear team (Clarkson etc) is going out only on Amazon Prime AFAIK.

        Ok that means less viewers than MS has Surface/Pro users.

    3. dotdavid

      "Does anyone actually use Amazon for TV"

      Of course now the TV service is bundled up with the "free next day delivery service" which is actually sometimes useful, I suspect the waters are muddied for prime subscribers. Will many ditch their prime subscriptions because the TV thing can't play on any of their devices, or will they just grumble and keep on paying to get the other Prime benefits, or better still for Amazon buy one of their horribly locked down FireTV dongles? Amazon have obviously done the sums and expect people to choose the latter two options.

      1. nijam Silver badge

        > ... "free next day delivery service" which is actually sometimes useful...

        Yes, but usually if you select "free delivery" at the checkout, stuff arrives just as fast without signing up for Prime. And if you occasionally need something urgently, paying for fast delivery is much, much cheaper than Prime. YMMV.

        1. Thomas Whipp

          Pickup locations

          having recently moved to commuting by train, the free access to pickup services (e.g. Doddle) at my local station do matter to me and are included in prime. The next day bit is nice, but if I'm honest it probably generates more impulse purchases

      2. Havin_it
        Meh

        @dotdavid

        >[...]or better still for Amazon buy one of their horribly locked down FireTV dongles?

        Horribly? Dunno about that. I've had an FTV stick about a month (and yes, my trial has morphed into paid sub with my approval), and I've side-loaded Kodi onto it for my locally-served-media needs, which was trivial. So, I'm reliably informed, is rooting it (if you have any reason to). With the app availability it seems a pretty useful bit of kit to me, and would still be even if I'd not subscribed.

        Only significant fly in the ointment so far has been that Netflix plays like ass on it: lots of "disjoint buffering" (where the picture freezes but the audio continues, until suddenly you get a speeded-up enactment of the scene you just heard, until it all syncs up again). It's either my broadband, which is not awesome-tier but does fine for Amazon viewing (making it NF's fault for not adapting the bitrate to something manageable), or the fact that the NF app is sandboxed and kept away from native resources the Amazon app can draw on (which would be Amazon's and/or Google's fault).

        This lark's all a bit new to me (long-suffering CRT telly dying has been the catalyst), but I'm pretty pleased with the Amazon offering all in all. My SO, who is far more wedded to the whole broadcast telly paradigm, has also been seduced like never before by the possibilities.

    4. seanj

      For TV? Yes. I'm quite partial to Black Sails, personally. I'm also quite looking forward to finding time to watch Hand of God, too.

      For film, however... only on my darkest, most desperate, US Netflix-can't-provide-and-out-of-sheer-desperation-maybe-Amazon-has-something-to-offer days.

    5. Frank Bough

      Re:

      They've got Mysterious Cities of Gold! I watched the whole thing with my 8 yr old daughter - she loved it, brought back fond memories for me.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Re:

        And still I can't find Ulysses 31 anywhere :(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re:

          All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

          Fair point on some of them though I had prime for a year and never used it, I did try but alas there was nothing of interest though that was a year ago.

          Where can you get Ulysses 31? Also dungeons and dragons?

          1. Havin_it
            Go

            @Richard, scoot76:

            Ulysses and DnD have both had a DVD release; I own both (and MSoG), though I forget where it was obtained. Possibly [lately Rakuten's] Play.com?

            Don't despair! Unless you find yourself in a crisis situation with only NonoYumi, Tal and Uni to help you ;)

            Edited for correction: Nono was actually pretty resourceful at times; I forgot that the "crap comic-relief sidekick" role was shared in U31, with Nono handling the "comic" and Yumi the "crap" parts. Innovative!

        2. Daggerchild Silver badge

          Re: Re:

          "And still I can't find Ulysses 31 anywhere :("

          The one I pine for is Robostory. Robot hobo, a girl, a dog, the White Wriggler and his Revered Reverence.

  3. Daggerchild Silver badge

    Toucan play

    Apple, Google, don't you think your TV streaming devices could do with a nice convenient online shopping channel where you can buy things with a touch of the remote? Maybe make it interactive and personalised to the user's recommendations?

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: Toucan play

      Except that Amazon probably have a million different patents on every possible online shopping method and the resulting sueball would benefit nobody but the usual parasitic IP lawyers.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Toucan play

        "Amazon probably have a million different patents on every possible online shopping method"

        AFAICS even the US patent courts are starting to get a handle on reality.

    2. Teiwaz

      Re: Toucan play

      Good job!!

      "Maybe make it interactive and personalised to recommend the user's recommendations? last purchase."

      FTFY (or at least that has been my experience).

      They are perfectly within their rights to sell what they want to sell I suppose. It's a wonder they still sell tablets and ebbok readers other than their hobbled androidy things.

      Maybe it's a sign uptake on the these telly dongles hasn't been great and they're trying to herd buyers toward their own offerings in the most direct way knowing they'll get maximise their subs to prime.

      1. deive

        Re: Toucan play

        "Maybe make it interactive and personalised to recommend the user's recommendations? last purchase." +1 for that!

        Gotta say I haven't though because "They are perfectly within their rights to sell what they want to sell I suppose." is totally incorrect as given how big Amazon are in most markets, this is the move of a monopoly.

        Either way, I only had prime for the delivery and now they increased the price of that so they could add streaming "free" without supporting any of the devices I use - I have cancelled my prime.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. tom dial Silver badge

    Their store, their rules

    See title.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Their store, their rules

      Not necessarily. I can see this running into problems in the EU.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Their store, their rules

        Some sort of citation to a law requiring a vendor to sell particular products, especially ones that are easily available from other vendors.

        For myself, I think Amazon is probably a bit stupid to do something likely to offend and alienate some customers and as someone else suggested, would be better off to offer a free app to provide compatibility to the competitors' devices. Given the rather limited Amazon streaming selection and the Fire's low price, this probably will cost them money and and possibly cost them streaming customers. And while I do watch some Amazon streaming of things unavailable on Netflix I use Roku for the old set and the built in Samsung application on the newer, so am not a candidate for either Apple TV or a Chromecast device; I will continue to purchase some things from Amazon and some from other vendors.

  5. asdf

    long live Roku

    Yet another reason to buy Roku. They are about the only one not pushing media directly as their main business model. Still If Amazon drop support for Roku they drop me as a Prime member simple as that.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: long live Roku

      The Roku doesn't have an Amazon Prime app in the UK, so presumably the Roku won't be available from Amazon UK shortly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: long live Roku

        >The Roku doesn't have an Amazon Prime app in the UK

        But the lovely weather and fine fried cuisine more than makes up for it.

  6. ckm5

    Dropped Prime when they cutoff XBMC

    I was a Prime video user until they cutoff XBMC and other HTPC platforms. 2 day shipping is nice, but it's not worth the price of Prime.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Well, whatever...

    I would think Amazon would want to encourage Prime subscriptions, by making them as easy to use as possible. Amazon should sell Fire sticks etc. on their own merits, I wouldn't buy into a service that actively cuts out 3rd party clients.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Well, whatever...

      Amazon are encouraging Prime subscriptions by following the satellite TV bundling model - the fact that you get a lot of stuff with your subscription can make the unwary think they're getting a good deal despite the fact that they probably don't use half the provided services.

      Well it works for Sky and Virgin Media and whatnot.

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    And strangely

    amazon.com no longer works in chrome and safari

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: And strangely

      POW!

      Take that big search engine.

      SPLAT!

      Take that big shop.

      CRUNCH!

      Take that big fruit.

  9. msknight Silver badge

    20% - that high?

    I wonder how many of those are automatic sign ups.

    Even my next door neighbour came to me with one of Amazon's letters with language so couched that they thought they'd somehow been signed up when they didn't want to be. Apparently they said they'd been fighting the enlarged "sign up to prime" free delivery things for so long that they thought they must have slipped up and hit the button by accident; because they don't want Prime ... and I know what they're saying.

    The push from Amazon to get people signed up has been horrifying and I've actually been on my own crusade to ditch buying stuff on Amazon for a few months now. It's going quite well, only two personal Amazon purchases in, I think, three months or so.

    But I think that 20% is probably looking to be manufactured bullshit. Tricksy? They're worse than Golumn.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 20% - that high?

      I've been in IT since the times of the Spectrum 48K and I admit to have accidentally subscribed to Prime one month ago.

      Basically I was in a hurry to buy something with my phone (first mistake) when presented with the usual page "Why don't you try Prime?" I skipped the large "Yes, something" button and obviously clicked the large "No, something else" button instead without actually reading it (second mistake).

      As it turns out, the "something else" on the button was to subscribe to a slightly lighter level of Prime. For really refusing it at once, I should have clicked a small-print HTML link nearby with no rectangular button around it.

      No real harm done though. I unsubscribed immediately and the deal expired yesterday. Basically I just got one two-day delivery for free.

      1. Known Hero

        Re: 20% - that high?

        Same happened to me, Only found out when I checked the bank balance. Was not impressed :(

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Surely if Amazon allowed the others to show Prime then this would a non-issue?

    So it's Amazon's fault for not allowing others to show their videoes (for whatever reason) so now Amazon won't make money from sellers using Amazon as a store front. Losing yet more money.

    I wonder what the big corporate shareholders think of this 'cut off my nose to spite my face' attitude?

    1. D@v3

      allow the others to show Prime

      Strangely enough, there is an Amazon Video app in the Apple (ios) app store.

      (edit) although, who knows how long that will last....

    2. Andrew Jones 2

      That's the point - it's not that Amazon won't allow others to show videos from the Prime subscription, it's that it's Amazons job to create the apps in the first place. Amazon could easily add Chromecast support to it's instant video app but have continuously refused to do so. And yet they keep sending me crap through the post with special offers to sign up to Prime and I keep replying to them and saying I'll give you my money when you support the only equipment I have to view your service on. Personally I see this move as showing that they have no faith in their own product and rather than letting it compete on its own merits - which any company will do when they believe their product is the best - they decide instead to remove the competition.

  11. enormous c word

    Really?

    Honestly - who gives a toss?

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Retaliation?

    If they annoy Google sufficiently there could be scope for some really interesting moves here. Such as Amazon first appearing on the 200th page of a Google search for any product or an online Google store.

    In fact, if you add this to the rise of ad blockers a change of direction could suit Google very well.

    Apple might be a different matter. I can't see them wanting to sell competing products but for non-competing products there could well be scope for order online, collect from the Apple store.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search....

    Google "Amazon"

    1 Result

    Amazon:large river in South Amerca

  14. Jeffrey Nonken

    We best serve our customers by taking away their choices and fragmenting the market.

  15. PghMike

    Chromecast still the winner to me

    I'm still pretty happy with Chromecast. It works fine for Netflix, Hulu and Youtube (of course), along with Vudu. There are a few things on Amazon I like to watch on the big screen, and tab casting work better than ever these days, so that's just what I do.

    It isn't that hard to buy a Chromecast from a Best Buy (in the US). So, I doubt Amazon's behavior will have any effect, except to make people wonder how crappy the FireStick must be if Amazon feels this will materially help it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Amazon 'competes' in this way in the future, it could hurt them

    For just these two devices, who cares. But what if they make their own phone again, and all iPhones and Androids disappear from amazon.com overnight? What if they decided to make their own TVs, or their own wireless routers?

    Part of Amazon's values to consumers is one stop shopping - you can buy just about anything there either from Amazon itself or one of its third party sellers. If that's going to change, they might no longer be the first online shopping stop for as many people.

    Given how aggressive the EU is with investigation competition issues like Google giving favoritism to its own services, I wonder if they'd look at this or is Amazon too small a percentage of online shopping for them to care? Because while Amazon is small by comparison, this is the equivalent of Google blocking search results for Outlook 365 when someone searches for "email provider" instead of merely putting Gmail at the top of the list.

  17. Alan Denman

    Walled garden.

    But Amazon is a jungle!

  18. DancesWithLice

    To the posters who accidentally paid for Prime, Amazon will refund if you ask (so long as you haven't been streaming Sponge Bob 24x7)...

    I know Amazon never claimed to do no evil but their evil seems to be increasing as they gain market dominance... Keep it all open, Bezos, and win on merit - it's what's got you this far. Don't break it now.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021