It looks as though Amazon may be preparing to make the next move in what has turned out to be a years-long and sometimes almost comical rivalry with the world’s other tech giant, Google. This next move could be an attempt to create an Amazon version of YouTube – AmazonTube, which, as everyone knows, is Google’s immensely successful video streaming and sharing platform. There are no guarantees that it will ever come to fruition, but there is evidence to suggest that Amazon is at least toying with the idea.
Last month, the company filed trademark requests for an app that sounds uncannily familiar, under the names of “AmazonTube” and “OpenTube”. In the request, this app is described as a service for transmitting, streaming and sharing “electronic works”, such as videos, text documents, images, etc. Apparently, this potential app would also function as a social network.
Why does Amazon want to compete with YouTube?
Like Google itself, YouTube has become so ubiquitous in our lives that it’s hard to imagine any competitor coming onto the scene, or why anyone would even try. But Amazon may be the only company today that has the resources necessary to pull off a stunt like this, and, it turns out, they have good reason to want their own video streaming social network. To understand why, we need to take a look at some of the milestones in this Amazon-Google rivalry that has been developing over the past several years.
Amazon.com is an online retail mecca where you can find anything—unless you are looking to buy a Google Chromecast, in which case, you’re out of luck, because the company refuses to sell them in their store. Similarly, Amazon Prime Video is not compatible with Chromecast devices. Google responded by announcing that they will be removing YouTube from Amazon’s smart TV equivalent, Fire TV, starting January 1.
Now, there is a possibility that AmazonTube, if it ever becomes a reality, will be reminiscent of the company’s attempt to emulate Instagram with an app called Spark, which was pretty blatantly self-promotion as it was exclusively for photos of customers with their Amazon products. However, with YouTube disappearing from thousands of Amazon Fire TVs, customers are going to need an alternative if they want to continue streaming videos. Amazon would be right to want to tackle that vacuum before it drives their users away from Fire TV and into the arms of Google Chromecast.