Amazon, in an apparent attempt to gain an edge on it’s video streaming competitors Apple and Google, will ban the sale of the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast, as they do not offer Amazon’s Prime Video service.
The Seattle-based Web retailer sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast. No new listings for the products will be allowed and posting of existing inventory will be removed Oct. 29, Amazon said. Amazon’s streaming service, called Prime Video, doesn’t run easily on its rival’s hardware.
“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” Amazon said. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
Amazon will not end sales of Roku Inc.’s hardware, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox, and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation, which all work with Amazon’s video service.
Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles told Bloomnerg that Amazon’s decision “sends the wrong signal to consumers,” and calls the Prime Video explanation “weak.”
“Fewer than 20 percent of Amazon customers are Prime members,” Pachter told the publication. “What about the 80 percent who want an Apple TV to stream Netflix? I think that the excuse of avoiding customer confusion is a not-so-veiled attempt to favor Amazon first-party products over third-party products, and think it was a bad move.”
Amazon grabbed third-place in streaming box sales away from Apple in 2014, Parks said. Roku was the market leader with 34%, while Google took second with 23%.