If you use Fire TV, you may have noticed you no longer have access to YouTube. The Verge reports that YouTube has now been deactivated on the device.
Fire TV is Amazon’s streaming device offering. It’s a small device that plugs into a TV and allows users to stream channels or use apps and Alexa skills. With a separate Alexa device or with the voice remote, users can control their TV by voice. Back in July, Business Insider noted that Amazon Fire TV had 35.8 million monthly users. Now all of those users will have to use a browser to watch YouTube on their TVs.
The removal of YouTube from Fire TV stems from an issue going all the way back to September. At that point, Google suddenly took YouTube off of Amazon’s Echo Show device. After the removal, Google said that they had never fully worked out the pairing before YouTube was made available on the Echo Show. Google said the version of YouTube on the Show created “a broken user experience,” likely referring to the fact that many key features were missing in this version of YouTube. Eventually, YouTube reappeared on the device.
Then earlier this month, Google pulled YouTube from the Echo Show once again. TechCrunch reports that Google didn’t know YouTube was being reactivated on the device. Google wasn’t involved in the process of creating this version of the YouTube app either, and they say it violates their Terms of Service. Once they pulled it from the Echo Show, they announced they would be removing it from Fire TV, as well. The original claim was that it would be removed on January 1st, 2018.
Instead, it was pulled on December 28th, days before it was meant to be removed. The Verge notes that we don’t yet know who took it down early. In any case, Fire TV users hoping for one last hurrah with the voice-controlled version of YouTube have now missed their shot. There don’t seem to be any current plans for reactivating YouTube on Amazon’s devices.