Amazon and Google seem to be in a bit of a tiff over the past few months, following Google's decision to block the online retailing giant's Echo Show from accessing YouTube. For a smart speaker with a screen, watching videos on the world's most popular video sharing and streaming service is naturally one of the most important use cases for the device and the two companies have been at loggerheads ever since.
The Bezos-led tech juggernaut is now being reported as having filed two trademarks for 'Amazontube' and 'Opentube' with the USPTO on the very day that Google announced its decision. These trademarks could, of course, reference any number of things but the similarities to Google's own YouTube are hard to ignore, potentially indicating plans for a video streaming service of some kind.
The descriptions associated with the trademark requests may lend further credence to this speculation, as they describe a service for "non-downloadable pre-recorded audio, visual and audiovisual works via wireless networks."
Furthermore, Amazon has been on a spree buying domain names related to the above two trademarks, with recent purchases including domains like AlexaOpenTube.com, AmazonAlexaTube.com, and AmazonOpenTube.com. Of course, this may simply be an exercise in getting on the front foot with respect to protecting trademarks and avoiding issues with domain squatters.
Of course, setting up behemoth video repository to rival the likes of YouTube would require an enormous amount of time and resources. Smaller players, such as Vidme which recently shut its site down, have found it challenging to draw audiences away from major players such as YouTube and Facebook, but that's not to say that Amazon would not face a similar issue if it proceeded.
The two companies appear to be reconciling their difference in recent days, with Amazon finally deciding to sell Google's Chromecast on its online store after two years. They are reported as being engaged in 'productive discussions'. A thawing of hostilities would also make a YouTube competitor less appealing for Amazon in the short term, barring any future plans by the company on leveraging its impressive cloud clout to break into the increasingly lucrative video sharing industry, which Amazon is already a major player in because of its acquisition of Twitch.