Amazon has apparently changed its mind about allowing Google to hawk its Chromecast streaming dongles on its marketplace. For the first time in three years, shoppers can head to Amazon and buy a Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra from Google, instead of buying it directly from Google through its own online store, or through retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
Heck, even Macy's sells Google's streaming dongles, which is probably not the first place people think to shop for electronics. In contrast, Amazon is a popular online shopping destination, for electronics and everything else—in fact, it's the most popular online shopping portal in the world. So, what was the issue, and why the change of heart?
Amazon banned the sale of certain Google devices like the Chromecast and Google Nexus Player back in 2015. The online retailer cited the lack of support for its own Amazon Video service as the reason why, saying it could confuse customers and lead to product returns. It's thee same reason it cited for banning sales of Apple TV devices.
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said at the time. "It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
Around two years later, Amazon said it had changed its mind and would allow the sale of Google's streaming products. However, nothing materialized until now, a full year later. For anyone who is interested, they can now purchase a Chromecast dongle (latest generation) for $35 or a Chromecast Ultra with 4K and HDR support for $69 on Amazon, with free two-day shipping for Prime members. And in case anyone is wondering, the answer is no, Chromecast still doesn't support Prime Video.