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Amazon to block sales of Apple TV due to lack of Prime Video support

A woman receives a package from Amazon that presumably does not contain an Apple TV

A woman receives a package from Amazon that presumably does not contain an Apple TV

If you’re looking to buy an Apple TV online, you may need to look somewhere other than Amazon in the very near future. A new report from Bloomberg claims that an internal email at indicates the retailer will block sales of Apple’s streaming device because it doesn’t support Amazon Prime Video.

The change will take place on October 29th, and will see Google’s Chromecast barred from the site as well. The email states that as Prime Video becomes a more important part of Amazon’s business, the company is trying to ensure that all streaming devices sold on its storefront are compatible with its offering.

This also means that marketplace sellers looking to list the Apple TV will need to go elsewhere. It’s not just that Amazon is stopping its own sales—the company is prohibiting anyone from listing the device at all.

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  1. Josh Lambert - 7 years ago


  2. Why only now? The timing is very curious. Won’t Amazon be able to build an Amazon Prime streaming app for the new Apple TV?

  3. Scott (@ScooterComputer) - 7 years ago

    The obvious next question then is: does Amazon currently have development plans for submitting a Prime Instant Video app to the iTunes App Store for Apple TV?

    Bloomberg was too frikkin’ stupid to ask that question and report on the answer in the article. (Which means they’re morons.)

  4. RP - 7 years ago

    Good for them. I’ve hated that they made it so difficult, to need a separate device to access my Prime account.
    I honestly hope that both Apple and Google cave.

    • gkbrown - 7 years ago

      Why do you think that Apple is behind this? Apple allows Netflix and Hulu on the Apple TV – why not Prime as well?

      I’m guessing that Amazon is the one keeping Prime off the Apple TV, because it competes directly with the Fire TV.

      • RP - 7 years ago

        True, I don’t know who or why amazon prime is not on chromecast or Apple TV

      • Amazon couldn’t care less about the hardware. No money in it for them. They just want to sell the service. To that end they want to sell devices that have amazon video pre-installed on it.

    • mikhailt - 7 years ago

      You make no sense. Apple is releasing a new Apple TV that will enable anyone to build apps for it, including Amazon, they can now port their existing iOS app to AppleTV without a lot of changes.

      Google has already offered the ability for Amazon to do this with Chromecast, it’s a developer choice not to support Chromecast or Nexus player.

      There’s nothing for Apple or Google to cave, Amazon is the one that’s in charge of releasing the apps for both AppleTV and Nexus/Chromecast and by removing the ability to buy either devices, they’re the only making it difficult for you to access your Prime Video stuff.

    • “They” is actually Amazon who has not written an Apple TV app. Nothing is stopping them from doing this.

  5. hayesunt - 7 years ago

    I’m sure they wouldn’t block it from selling on Amazon because their streaming service isn’t allowed on Apple TV, if they hadn’t already tried to get an Amazon straming app on the TV. That wouldn’t make any sense. Apple is probably not allowing them on the platform… which I think is pretty odd, since they allow Netflix and hulu.

    • puggsly - 7 years ago

      Are you serious! Amazon would shout it from the highest mountain top if Apple Rejected Prime Video on AppleTV. They didn’t block it on iPhone, iPad or iPod. So why would they block it on AppleTV

  6. incredibilistic - 7 years ago

    This smells a little monopolistic to me.

    What’s to stop Amazon from discontinuing other products that they don’t feel line up with their initiatives.

    I’m not sure about Apple fans but I have to believe that Android/Google fans are gonna make a big stink about this. We could see some boycotts or petitions.

    Doesn’t really effect me that much. I rarely order from Amazon and their Prime app (on the PS3 and PS4) is pretty crappy when compared against Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go.

  7. airmanchairman - 7 years ago

    Obviously, behind-the scenes negotiations aren’t going well so far…

  8. daving313 - 7 years ago

    Sure Best Buy or Apple won’t mind taking Amazon’s sales.

  9. I thought Amazon wouldn’t put Prime Video on Apple TV because it didn’t want to pay the 30% for any rentals through the app. That’s what they do with Audible on iOS. Is Apple really blocking them or is their bottom line so delicate that they can’t afford the 30% vig?

    • Carl Hancock - 7 years ago

      Bingo. I’m guessing Apple isn’t going to allow apps on Apple TV like they do on the iPhone/iPad that allow you to sign up for them outside of the app to avoid the 30% cut because it simply won’t make for a good experience on the Apple TV. That’s how Amazon gets around it on the iPhone or iPad. You have to have an existing Amazon Prime account and can’t create one from the Amazon On Demand Prime Video app on the iPhone/iPad either, but you can use mobile safari to create one or more than likely already have one. I’m guessing Apple wants you to be able to sign up for services like this on the Apple TV seamlessly without having to already have an account or sign up for one elsewhere. And yes, Amazon’s bottom line is that delicate when it’s including this service along with it’s other Prime benefits related to shipping, etc.

      • mpias3785 - 7 years ago

        In the case of Hulu, the new commercial-free service is $11.99, $13.99 if purchased through the app.

      • No not Bingo. Literally everything you said is wrong. Starting with Prime accounts are not sold on any device but on Amazon’s site so there is no 30% cut. Oh and by the way do you know Amazons cut? 30%….

      • iJonni - 7 years ago

        Weird thing about that pricing. I signed up for Hulu on the Apple TV and its billed through iTunes, but it says its only 11.99/mo (and previously it was 7.99) + tax. I’ve never been charged the higher rate…

    • mikhailt - 7 years ago

      It’s BS. They’re trying to push the sales of their failing Fire business.

      AppleTV/Chromecast and other devices has nothing to do with Prime Video, what’s the benefit of blocking them? To promote sales of the only device available on Amazon’s store, Fire TV.

      Amazon can port their iOS app to tvOS on the new AppleTV device and they had the ability to support casting for Chromecast/Nexus Player, the Roku and so on, they have the power to build the support on these devices. In other words, it is Amazon who made this decision in the end, nobody else.

      • iSRS - 7 years ago

        Don’t forget they could have added AirPlay support to the iOS apps as well, within their existing iOS apps, and have chosen not to. Yes, you can Mirror your device, but that is an Apple solution and nothing to do with Amazon.

      • mikhailt - 7 years ago

        Yes, they can also easily port their existing iOS app to tvOS as well for the new AppleTV.

  10. gatorguy2 - 7 years ago

    Why wouldn’t Apple want to offer Amazon Prime Video? Seems short-sighted if accurate. I use Prime services of some sort almost daily as do probably millions of others so it’s a great value.

    • Carl Hancock - 7 years ago

      This doesn’t appear to be a matter of Apple not wanting to offer Amazon Prime Video. It’s am after of Amazon not wanting to play by Apple’s app store rules as it relates to paying Apple a percentage of subscriptions signed up via the app. It’s the reason why you Amazon has a Prime Video app on the iPhone and iPad but you can’t sign up for it within the app. You have to already have an account or use the mobile browser to sign up for one and the Apple TV doesn’t have a browser. They don’t want to pay Apple, or they want to pay Apple less than what everyone else does. That is what this is about.

  11. So what’s stopping them from releasing an Amazon Prime app in the tvOS App Store?

    • gkbrown - 7 years ago

      Nothing, as far as I can tell…that’s why I think this has more to do with Amazon than it does Apple or Google.

  12. flarestorm99 - 7 years ago

    Kind of silly…wouldn’t Amazon then be losing money? I’m sure they make money off each unit they sell, so why ban it just to support something that barely many people use as Netflix/Hulu has most of the market.

    • mikhailt - 7 years ago

      They’re losing more money on their failing Fire TV devices, so they’re blocking sales of every competitors on their store, so that the only result for “streaming box” would be Fire TV.

  13. fringe30 - 7 years ago

    So will the Apple TV 4 get released before Oct. 30th? They just said October in the Apple Events I believe.

  14. mooeymoose - 7 years ago

    Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc all have apps for Apple TV. Now that there is an App Store why does Amazon not make an app. This would be great and I have been waiting for this for a long time.

    Does somebody know more details on this matter?

  15. rwanderman - 7 years ago

    Apple did much the same thing when it stopped selling Bose headphones when it bought Beats. The Prime issue is a red herring: it’s not up to Apple to include Amazon Prime video on Apple TV, it’s up to Amazon to allow Apple to include Prime Video. Short of that, there’s not much Apple can do.

    However, if Amazon is doing this to push more people to buy streaming devices other than Apple TV, then Apple’s taking Bose products out of their stores is a parallel.

    • Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

      It’s not the same thing. Apple and Bose were in a lawsuit. Amazon & Apple/Google are not

      • anekin007 - 7 years ago

        What about Fitbit? Right before Apple watch was released Apple remove all health bands from their store.

  16. whitehuskykolohe - 7 years ago

    So why don’t they just make an Amazon Prine app for the new Apple TV? Oh right, they would rather try to boost their own device.

    • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

      Amazon have Instant Video apps on many platforms, so I don’t buy that.

      Of course Apple’s services are conspicuous by their absence on rival platforms. Where is iTunes on Android for example? Why can’t I listen to Apple Music on my PS4?

  17. auntietroal - 7 years ago

    Ever wondered what would happen once Amazon starts squashing the competition? Now we know.
    A big, red, flashing warning sign is what this move is.

    I’ve greatly reduced my Amazon usage over the past couple years. Going to try to get it to zero now.

    • iSRS - 7 years ago

      I’m partially with you. Places like Best Buy and Target have started price matching “sold by Amazon, ships from Amazon” – if they don’t just automatically do so.

  18. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Curious what percentage Netflix is paying from now being able to sign up to Netlfix in app on iPhone and iPad? It has a huge banner announcing it now supports in app purchase.

    I think this boils down to how Apple TV will manage subscriptions. Amazon is just wanting to pay less a percentage for people who sign up through Apple TV

    I was going to use the 6 month financing to buy the new 64 GB Apple TV, now I guess I’ll buy it through Apple.

    • No. If you sign up for Prime on Amazons web site, like everybody does, Amazon owes nothing.

      • ericisking - 7 years ago

        This is why it’s not about the 30% cut….there’s something else going on. Two theories: (1) this only applies to the old Apple TV, Amazon will eventually release an app for the new Apple TV, and the reporter just didn’t do a good job of getting all the facts; (2) Amazon is trying to control how is customers access their services, and they think it’s really important that they control the TV experience through their own devices (or devices where they have a lot of control). But, really, if it’s (2) then I think it’s stupidity. Why take that special approach to the TV screen, which is the opposite of your platform-agnostic approach to smartphones and tablets? They don’t try to force their customers to use a Kindle Fire instead of an iPad or Android tablet, so why do this with TV screens? This will only lose them customers – it cannot possibly help them to gain more customers, or retain more customers (I’m much more likely to cancel my Prime subscription if I can’t use Prime video on my TV without buying a special box from Amazon). It seems very short-sighted, almost imbecilic decision-making, so I’m leaning towards (1).

  19. Olivier Suritz - 7 years ago

    Could this be deemed antitrust? It’s one thing for Amazon to stop carrying the AppleTV and Chromecast – even though, as discussed, the new AppleTV will allow for an Amazon Instant Video app. What I find disturbing is their unilateral decision to prevent 3rd-party vendors (aka Amazon Marketplace) from selling competing devices.

    This decision flies in the face of Amazon’s #1 Leadership Principle ( Custom Obsession.

    • Olivier Suritz - 7 years ago

      I meant to say: what’s next? Ban iPad sales of any kind (incl. accessories)? They could then argue than physical media don’t play well with AIV so they will stop selling DVDs/BDs?

    • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

      Amazon are free to sell whatever they like. If they don’t want to sell Apple goods, then that’s their choice. Their customers will let them know how they feel about that decision.

      • Yes we all know that but thanks Captain Obvious.

      • puggsly - 7 years ago

        I agree! That is what I just sent an email to Amazon informing them that I plan to cancel my subscription if they don’t reverse this decision. Not because it will hamper me purchasing AppleTV, but because it shows they are willing to use us. Their customers to fight it out with other companies. This is not the first time ether. So I’ll be checking out Jet as well as Walmart, Target, and a number of other online resellers.

        I strongly recommend people who believe this type of action is wrong commit to canceling Amazon Prime.

    • Oh man….so few people know why anti-trust is. You have to have a monopoly to start and nobody does.

  20. Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 7 years ago

    This smells very fishy. The new Apple TV is an open(ish) platform, as open as the iPad and the iPhone. Amazon could simply write a Prime Video app for it. They have apps on just about every other platform, so why not the Apple TV?

    Granted Apple and Amazon have history, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon putting their services onto other iOS devices. Ultimately Amazon just want more money, so I’d be surprised if they didn’t write a Prime app for the ATV eventually.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      You make a very good point, but I would gather that Amazon probably already tried to write an app for it and Apple would not allow it. I would bet you a hundred bucks that’s *exactly* what happened, especially to get this kind of response from Amazon.

      • iSRS - 7 years ago

        Or Amazon wanted special treatment they knew they would not get, so they can “blame” Apple

  21. rgbfoundry - 7 years ago

    I think we’re entering the real of anti-competitive behavior and anti-trust lawsuits.

  22. Toro Volt (@torovolt) - 7 years ago

    Does Apple sells Amazon Fire TV or Chromecast in their stores? –> Nope.

  23. scumbolt2014 - 7 years ago

    Who cares? I’m getting mine from Apple anyway.

  24. yea yea yea,,,that’s all fine and dandy. But what the hell is up with that girls toe!!???!? hahahaha Those shoes are too tight girl. lol

  25. juicecowboy - 7 years ago

    OMG – where am I going to get my AppleTV from now?

    …oh wait, that’s right. From absolutely anywhere else…

  26. srgmac - 7 years ago

    I always wondered why Prime is not available on the ATV…that’s pretty lame Apple. The Fire TV from Amazon has everything the Apple TV has and more, minus the iTunes store.

  27. Jack Capella - 7 years ago

    This proprietary garbage is the reason I won’t be using either device. I currently use a PC for my media center but will soon be changing to a Mac mini… That’s right a Mac Mini. It supports 2K which is more than enough, has a remote and can stream everything and store everything. Why use something that will limit your options. Apple’s mindset on remaining proprietary is no different than any other company bit it only spells doom for the future of the device.

    • Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

      I can see your point… but the apple TV and amazon fire TV are both a lot more portable – which means you are not limited to using your device in one room… they can also specifically designed to give you a better experience for media content and can run all your favourite apps including games… they are also 1/4 of the price (almost)…
      I already have a laptop – i havent used a desktop in year… having either one of these devices means i can watch what i want, when i want, and even stream from my laptop… the best this, i can use these devices anywhere…

      So while the mini will work for you – clearly you are very far behind the times… i dont bother with dvds or cds… everything is in the cloud or digital download – although for most part my videos and tv content is steamed (i have very fast internet :-) )

  28. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    This is totally wrong – Amazons main business is as an online store to SELL items and make money…there are many products that are not prime ‘compatible’…so should amazon stop selling all the products that dont offer prime services…

    This shows a lack of confidence in their own products…

    can you imagine if apple deleted on the amazon apps and prevented you from playing amazon music and videos on your devices etc…

    I hate it when companies do things like this because it shows a lack of concern for the customer

  29. Jassi Sikand - 7 years ago

    This seems like a stupid reason. Amazon could equally build an app for the Apple TV and Chromecast.

  30. lkrupp215 - 7 years ago

    Happens every time. A confusing article that fails to answer important questions and the iHaters blame Apple for whatever the issue is, and the fanboys blame Amazon. Nobody knows what’s going on but hey, show your bias, wear it like a badge.

  31. Td mac (@tdsmac) - 7 years ago

    Lets all take a deep breath. The responses are Knee jerk reactions to what people perceive but lets look at what is said and not said.
    -Amazon DID NOT say that they are pulling the Prime App from iOS devices. so at this point they are sill supporting watching their shows on other devices.

    -Amazon DID NOT say that they are not writing an app for the new ATV nor did they say that they are not going to sell the New ATV.

    -What Amazon DID say is they are baring the ATV and Chromecast on Oct 29th. The Only ATV that is currently in the stores and could be barred is the current/older generation of ATV, which doesn’t support apps and can’t have an Amazon Prime channel.

    -Amazon DOES support other devices for watching Prime like Xbox, Roku, etc, so it would be odd of them to not to embrace the new ATV. Furthermore, Amazon’s funding for these shows is primarily through the sales of Prime. The profit on the Fire devices is probably zero or negative anyway. Thus, the goal will be Prime subscriptions.

    – What this did was get Amazon in the news cycle. When Amazon later says that that they will only sell and support the new ATV, along with the New Prime app for TVos, at ATV launch, they will get the media attention and draw in sales and hopefully more buyers of Prime.

    – The looser then in this whole thing would then be chromecast, which is really who Amazon wants to keep out.

    – If this proves out, the other beneficiary of this would be Apple themselves. Prime TV shows are become more and more polar, especially with the Emmy wins and nominations by Amazon. I’ll also be willing to bet that a very high percentage of people who purchase Prime are also Apple Customers, since those customers tend to spend more $$. Thus, a push that Prime availability is on the new ATV and those ATV’s are avail on Amazon, helps push Amazon as the place to buy the device and sign up with a prime membership. Also, wouldn’t be surprised to see some sort of Prime discount tie-in for new Prime customers buying an Apple TV.

  32. b9bot - 7 years ago

    Whatever the case maybe I didn’t buy my last Apple TV from Amazon and I wasn’t planning to buy the latest one from them anyways. There loss in so many ways. Just makes the Apple Stores look way better for my next purchase. They have the Steve Balmer attitude, block and prohibit and it won’t be a threat to our product. WRONG!!!!!! Apple’s hobby just got real people.

  33. Matthew (@MatthewK_96) - 7 years ago

    If I was going to buy an Apple TV online, I’d go Apple’s website before I’d go to Amazon.

  34. This article isn’t the least bit true anyone can develop an app for tvOS as long as it meets Apple guidelines for the app store they will make it available no questions asked. Amazon is just taking their sweet time creating an app.