From The Motley Fool:
Amazon.com recently kicked Apple‘s digital streaming box, along with Alphabet‘s Google Chromecast streaming stick, out of its online store.
The move comes right when all three companies have updated their streaming devices just before the critical holiday sales season. It’s a clear attempt for the online retailer to increase sales for its own Fire TV and Fire TV stick products at the expense of Apple TV and Google’s low-cost USB-dongle media player.
It’s not an unprecedented move, but it’s a rare one for Amazon, which is staying in business with its two rivals for other products — even tablets where iPad and Nexus devices compete with its Kindles. Even though Amazon is firing this shot, one could argue that the war was started by Apple and Google, since neither Chromecast nor Apple TV offers Amazon’s Prime Video app.
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“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,” Amazon said in the email. “It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”
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In the short term, the loss in sales barely impacts Amazon’s bottom line, but hurting its relationship with the major companies could come back to bite it with consumers.
“This has the potential to hurt Amazon as much as it does Apple and Google,” Barbara Kraus, an analyst at Parks Associates, told Bloomberg. “As a retailer, I want to give people a reason to come to me. When I take out best-selling brands, I take away those reasons.”
While its logic is sound, when it comes to Apple TV and Chromecast, Amazon is also taking a risk by pursuing this strategy.
“Fewer than 20% of Amazon customers are Prime members,” Wedbush Securities Analayst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg. “What about the 80% 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.”
Link to the rest at The Motley Fool