The Fight Is Over: YouTube Returns to Fire TV, Prime Video to Chromecast

Amazon and Google have reconciled their differences. This means that Google’s YouTube app will soon return to Fire TV devices and smart TVs with built-in Fire TV bringing with it all the conveniences of accessing your favorite videos. It also means that Amazon Prime Video will be available on Google Chromecast, and on devices with Chromecast built-in — the NVIDIA Shield, AirTV, and Android TVs from Sony, Hisense, Philips, Sharp, Element, and more.  

The YouTube app disappeared from Fire TV at the beginning of 2018. This was part of the fallout from a feud that began in 2015, when Amazon banned the sale of Google Chromecast devices, including devices by third-party vendors. Amazon’s reason at the time was that Prime Video did not play well on Chromecast and they would only sell devices that could stream Prime Video. But what Amazon didn’t say was it was its own choice to drop Amazon Prime on Chromecast. 

Analysts speculated that the fight actually began because of the competition between voice-assisted devices — Amazon Echo versus Google Home. The Alexa-enabled Echo was released in June 2015, Google Home with Google Assistant in May 2016.

It’s been more than a year since the YouTube App was removed from Fire TV devices and TVs. Fire TV users could only view YouTube videos through a browser app that was bookmarked to It affected sales of Fire TVs, as most users have come to rely upon You Tube for everything from entertainment to music videos and as a resource for instructional videos on how to do almost anything.

In a joint press release, Amazon and Google put a positive face on their future.

“We are excited to work with Amazon to launch the official YouTube app on Fire TV devices worldwide,” said Heather Rivera, head of product partnerships at YouTube. “Bringing our flagship YouTube experience to Amazon Fire TV gives our users even more ways to watch the videos and creators they love.”

“We’re excited to bring the Prime Video app to Chromecast and Android TV devices, and to give our customers convenient access to the shows and movies they love,” said Andrew Bennett, head of worldwide business development for Prime Video. “Whether watching the latest season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, catching teams go head-to-head on Thursday Night Football or renting a new-release movie, customers will have even more ways to stream what they want, whenever they want, no matter where they are.” 

There is no release date for the YouTube app, but it is expected to appear in weeks rather than months.  Along with the basic YouTube app, there will be apps for YouTube TV and YouTube Kids on Amazon Fire TV. The YouTube app will be capable of playing all video formats including 4k HDR at 60 fps.

On the flip side, users will be able to cast Prime Video to Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices. This includes access to the X-Ray feature that identifies the actors, music, and other trivia in each scene. Movies that have been rented or purchased and content from Prime Video Channels — HBO, CBS All-Access, Cinemax, Stars, and 150 more channels — will also cast to Chromecast devices. 

Clearly, this agreement benefits both companies. Prime Video will be available on more devices, allowing Amazon to sell more Prime memberships, and Google will be able to sell more YouTube TV subsctiptions through Fire TV devices. In the end, it’s those of us who like to stream who reap the greatest benefits.