Dear Amazon. My name is Quentyn, and I’ve been an Amazon Prime subscriber for nearly 5 years. I love your products, and I love your store. Free 2-day shipping is awesome, and I love how easy it is to buy movies on Amazon Instant Video. I read great novels on my 2nd Gen Kindle Paperwhite every single day. Hell, I’ll even have to start going to Amazon for baby stuff because it’s been more convenient to get nursing items for my newly-born nephew online than it is at brick and mortar retail.
All that said, this sort of nonsense is not cool. For those who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, Amazon has issued memos to merchants warning them that they will soon be unable to sell Chromecast (old and new), the Nexus Player and Apple TV on the mega-shop. They’ll stop letting you list new products now, and the existing listings will all disappear by the end of the month.
Their reasoning might sound sensible to a total moron:
Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.
But we aren’t buying it. So, instead of working with Apple and Google to get Amazon Instant Video loaded up on their respective products, you’ll instead opt to ban their products from the store so as to not confuse consumers? What kind of idiots do you take us for?
Here’s the full drivel being dished out to Amazon sellers in email communication:
Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Therefore, Amazon has implemented listing restrictions for the followings products:
Apple TV, Chromecast, Nexus Player
Effective immediately, you may no longer create new listings for these products, and as of 10/29/15, any existing listings for these products will be removed. There will be no adverse impact on your seller account for the removal, but we request that you refrain from relisting removed products.
Roku, XBOX, and PlayStation all interact well with Prime Video and are not affected by this change.
Thank you for selling on Amazon.
Sincerely, Amazon Services
Notice how they neglect to include the fact that it’s their fault that Amazon Instant Video isn’t supported on these products. They’d rather you believe that it’s an issue out of their hands, but we all know that isn’t true.
It’s especially ridiculous to try and paint Google and the Chromecast in that light considering Google invites literally everyone (no really, the SDK is public) to support Chromecast in their apps. Apple, to our knowledge, also doesn’t mind competing video services having a home on their respective platform.
You’ve shown that you aren’t above putting Amazon Instant Video on other platforms, even if you do so reluctantly. It’s been available for the iPad for who knows how long, and it took forever to get it over here on Android. And don’t think we’ve forgotten about the fact that your app was installed and working perfectly fine on many users’ Android TV boxes before you decided to flip a switch and render it useless.
Clearly there are other factors at play as to why you’re making these sorts of random and seemingly pointless moves. Otherwise, why aren’t you banning all the countless other multimedia players which don’t support Amazon Instant Video being pushed through your warehouse?
Our first guess will always be related to financial incentive, but we obviously can’t say that for certain without sitting in on private meetings. It probably sounds like a great idea when you talk about it in your big board rooms, but if you seriously think yanking competing products out of your stores will help improve the sales of Fire TV then you’ve already failed.
You truly want your product to succeed? Make it innovative, fresh and cost effective. Advertise it, and advertise it well. The sad thing is you actually tick all of those boxes quite nicely for the Fire TV line. But for one reason or another, a lot of consumers would rather get their hands on a Chromecast or Apple TV, and if you’re going to flat-out refuse to sell it to them and dismiss it with a bullsh*t excuse like the one you provided above I’m sure they’ll find plenty other places to complete their goal.
You were once loved, revered and celebrated for being the most pro-consumer online retailer there is, but in your quest to be everything to everyone you’re losing sight of what made you great in the first place. There’s only so much more folks will take before they realize there’s plenty of business to be done elsewhere without having to be manipulated for the sake of raking in a few more pennies.