Amazon will stop selling Apple TV and Google (News - Alert) Chromecast, both of which pose a threat to its recently updated Fire TV and Fire TV stick. The move reflects Amazon’s evolving business model, as the company completes its transition from Internet middleman to full service provider.
Amazon’s decision is meant to incentivize Apple (News - Alert) TV and Chromecast into supporting Amazon Prime, which neither currently does. It also stifles competition for its Fire TV and Fire TV stick, which have begun to challenge both TV streaming devices.
Amazon will continue to sell third part streaming devices that support Amazon Prime, such as Roku, Playstation, and Xbox products. As Amazon spokeswoman Pia Arthur said, “"It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
The move is a blow to all three companies; Apple and Google lose the retail giant’s highly visible sales platform, while Amazon loses the valuable insight it gleans from selling its competitors’ products. It’s unsure whether Amazon would change its decision if Amazon and Google made their products Prime-friendly.
Meanwhile, Amazon is fighting to establish itself as a content provider in addition to its current role as content host.
Amazon Prime’s streaming content is beginning to contend with Netflix’s tight hold on the market. In addition to nabbing a few high profile recent movies (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” most notably), the company has also released its own comedy series “Red Oaks” and picked up streaming rights to three new CBS series. Amazon seems to pull any film or TV series it can get its hands on, even delighting movie buffs by reaching into cinema history (the site currently offers the 1958 horror “The Fly”).
In pure numbers, Amazon’s streaming service dwarfs the total amount of content of any provider. It offers 17,000 movies and TV series bundled in its Amazon Prime, but adds an extra 63,000 titles if we factor streaming content available for purchase or rent. While all of Netflix’s content is free to any subscriber, it only carries 10,000 total titles. Of course, Netflix’s content is exclusive, award-winning, and wildly entertaining, while Amazon has only just begun to offer exclusive content.
While Netflix remains the king streaming content provider, it’s clear that Amazon hopes to strong arm and bully its way into that market, and isn’t afraid to take some blows to do so.
Chromecast and Apple TV will be removed from the site on October 29.