Far be it for a week to go by without Amazon making headlines. The latest Amazon news – Amazon pulled all Apple TV and Google Chromecast products from its online retail store, including third-party retailers. Amazon did this the same day as the official launch of the new Apple TV. Not a coincidence.
In fact, Business Insider says that if you search for Apple TV or Google Chromecast on Amazon.com, the site will recommend Amazon Fire TV stick instead.
Here’s what we found when searching for “Apple TV.”
Amazon announced this move ahead of time, saying that the company only wanted to sell streaming media players that interacted well with Prime Video “to avoid customer confusion.” While banning Apple TV and Google Chromecast, Amazon still sells Roku, Xbox and PlayStation streaming devices and consoles.
As if that weren’t monumental enough, Amazon abandons its roots yesterday when it opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle’s University Village. Amazon Books is a 5,500-square-feet retail space with 5,000 to 6,000 books and 2,000 square feet of storage space, says The Seattle Times. Amazon Books will not be your average bookstore though. It will have a few key differentiators:
- Books will be front-facing rather than with their spines facing out.
- Book prices in the store will be the same as Amazon’s online prices.
- In addition to best-sellers, Amazon Books will feature Amazon.com customer favorites and unique categories like “Most Wished-For Cookbooks.”
- Amazon will use its data and knowledge of book-buying habits to drive its success.
- Below each book will be a book review or a rating from Amazon.com.
We can’t decide if we should applaud the Jeff Bezos-owned empire for positioning itself to succeed, or if we should fear that Bezos is oozing into anti-trust territory at worst, or at best, setting the bar even higher for retailers and subscription companies to compete.
We certainly admire the company’s ingenuity in testing new ideas, but it seems to have so many balls in the air that it is hard to tell what’s coming next and how it will fare. Banning some of its competitors from its website seems childish, in a way, while setting up a brick-and-mortar store seems counterintuitive to Amazon’s policy of how it keeps it prices so low – low overhead.
The only thing we know for sure is that you never know what Amazon and Bezos are going to try next.