Amazon will not post new listings for the Apple TV and Google Chromecast, and old listings will be removed on October 29, Bloomberg reports.
The devices in question are mostly used to stream video (and games) to TVs. They’re also in direct competition with Amazon’s own Fire TV and Fire Stick and neither device has apps for Prime Video. Devices like Roku, which is compatible with Prime, won’t be affected. Neither will the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, both of which have Prime apps.
Prime is the reason Amazon cites in the removal of the listings, in an email that was set to marketplace sellers.
“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” the email said. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
Confusing or not, it’s definitely a competitive move to remove the devices from the web’s biggest marketplace. And it happens on the eve of the introduction of Amazon’s newest Fire TV model.
The new Fire TV comes out on October 5, and is being offered with a special gaming bundle that costs $139.99 and comes with a controller.
The Fire TV by itself costs $99, while the Fire Stick is $39.99. By comparison, the new Apple TV (not yet released) will cost $149, while the old and new versions of the Chromecast cost just $35. That puts the Fire devices in a solid middle ground.
But will availability and price make a difference to consumers? Bloomberg spoke to analyst Michael Pachter, who pointed out that, “fewer than 20 percent of Amazon customers are Prime members.” And you need Prime membership, which includes special shipping deals from Amazon, to have access to the Prime Video streaming.
Taking away that easy Amazon access to Apple TV and the Chromecast is an aggressive move that could end up benefiting Amazon in more ways than just selling more Fire TVs. But Pachter points out that it doesn’t look good to consumers either.
If you do plan on getting Apple TV, Prime Video isn’t out of the question. As iOS users know, you can use AirPlay to stream Prime Video from an iOS device to the Apple TV—something that makes the exclusion of Apple TV from Amazon and Prime Video from Apple TV seem a little silly.
Apple and Amazon are both targeting gaming with their new models of the Fire TV and Apple TV. When they announced the new Fire TV, Amazon boasted that it would have the largest game library of any streaming devices. Apple, of course, has a huge claim on the mobile games market and can bring those games to the living room with its App Store on the Apple TV.
This story will be updated as Apple and Google respond to Amazon’s move.