As has been widely reported in both the tech press and the mainstream press, Amazon has just banned the sale by third party vendors of streaming devices that do not carry Amazon Prime Video. Instead, it suggests shoppers purchase its FireTV Stick or other Prime-compatible devices. For the most part, this was just covered as another story, without a lot of analysis. But here on the TBG Blog, we don’t post a story unless we’ve got something to say about it…Look, we like Amazon a lot. We shop there for just about everything under the sun, and truth be told, this site wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for Amazon. But we’ll call a spade a spade, and Amazon is clearly eager to step into its market-dominating role as the#1 retailer in the world. And that means it’s going to be flexing its muscles in more than one way. It long ago stopped selling competing products like the small-time Google Chromecast and Apple TV directly, as well as more important products like the Apple iPad and most Apple products for that matter. But shoppers have been able to buy these products through third parties, allowing them to have the cohesive Amazon shopping experience they’ve grown to love.
Amazon is now putting an end to that in a small way with the outright ban on the Chromecast and AppleTV, removing them from the site entirely. That’s its right to do. Heck, it could just sell Amazon FireTV, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Prime Videos, Amazon Books, and nothing else, all day long, every day, and it would still have lots of customers. But Amazon wouldn’t do that, would it?
Perhaps one day, not only will you only be able to view Prime videos on products sold on Amazon, but they’ll have to be produced by Amazon as well. It does have some Emmy-winning shows, after all, and could probably bankroll many more. But Amazon wouldn’t do that, would it?
And how about a day when the only way to buy products on Amazon is to pay $100 a year to be a Prime member. It comes with all sorts of benefits, including the aforementioned Prime Video, along with Prime Music and Prime shipping. But Amazon wouldn’t do that, would it?
Well, how about a day when not only will you need to be a Prime member to shop on Amazon, and not only will it only buy you access to Amazon-produced content, it will only buy you access to Amazon-created products. TVs, shampoo, baby gear, salad dressing, you name it, Amazon can make it and sell it to you. But Amazon wouldn’t do that, would it?
OK, at this point, perhaps we’ve ventured from the realm of commentary to the realm of a science fiction novel, but given enough time and enough content Prime shoppers, we think Amazon will sell you that one too…