Is Firestick losing YouTube? Yes! Use the 2 workarounds in this guide to fix it.
Why? Because YouTube for Firestick is great. It has something for everyone. Whether it’s a DIY project tutorial or product review, it’s become a fantastic tool/entertainment option. Regrettably, through Amazon and Google’s longstanding tiff, we have to suffer through the Firestick losing YouTube.
Why is the Amazon Firestick Losing YouTube
The Amazon vs. Google thing has been going on for several years now, but it hasn’t affected consumers like this before.
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Way back when, Amazon and Google offered different things. Amazon would sell you stuff. Google sold you services (or provided them for free.)
Now both companies are expanding into the same arenas. Both have smart home products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Google came out with a competitor to the Firestick, the Google Chromecast.
In 2015, Amazon wanted to sell more Firesticks and stopped selling Google’s Chromecast. Later, they quietly dropped the Nest lineup of smart-home products.
Now they both have dropped each other’s video services from their smart TV products. You can no longer watch Amazon Prime Video on a Chromecast nor can you watch YouTube on the Firestick.
Google’s official statement is as follows:
“We’ve been trying to reach [an] agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services. But Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn’t make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest’s latest products. Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”
An Amazon spokeswoman responded to Google’s removal of YouTube from the Firestick by telling CNET,
“Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard version of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing website. Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible.”
Each company is blaming the other for not playing nice. So until they can both agree to put on their big kid pants and act like adults, consumers are stuck dealing with their issues.
Is your Firestick losing YouTube? Scroll down to use 2 workarounds that fix the Firestick YouTube issue.
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The Irony of the Whole Situation
You may remember that last year the FCC repealed net neutrality which protects consumers by not allowing internet providers to charge more for or restrict certain websites/services.
Google and Amazon have both been big players in keeping net neutrality in place because of their stake in their streaming services. Both YouTube and Prime Video require a ton of bandwidth.
So now that they’re censoring each others streaming services from their respective devices, the whole situation smells of irony. The internet companies were quick to jump on the opportunity to take pot shots at both Amazon and Google.
Jonathan Spalter, CEO of USTelecom was one of the first to point out this irony.
“Broadband ISPs are committed to providing an open internet for their customers, including protections like no content blocking or throttling. Seems like some of the biggest internet companies can’t say the same. Ironic, isn’t it?”
Don’t be fooled by that guy. Internet service providers throttle connections every day in areas of the world without net neutrality. It just makes sense for a business to make more money by investing in a company, then restricting access to all of its investment’s competition. Easy money for them. They get cash from their investments on top charging people extra for unthrottled service.
Workarounds to Still Get YouTube on Your Firestick
Luckily, the internet is full of smart people who like to fix things. While YouTube is officially gone from the Firestick (as of January 1st, 2018), you can still make it work.
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The Firestick supports internet browsers which are building their own app support for services like, you guessed it, YouTube.
If you want to still watch your beloved YouTube channels on through your Firestick, it only takes one additional step and a one time 5-minute setup.
Firestick Losing YouTube Fix #1:
Mozilla Firefox released its Firestick browser app which offers a YouTube shortcut right on the home screen. From there you can search for videos and go about your YouTube business to your heart’s content.
- Start up your Firestick
- Go to the Search function
- Search for “Firefox“
- Install Firefox for Fire TV
- Open up the Firefox app and select YouTube from the home screen.
Firestick Losing YouTube Fix #2:
Amazon also has its own browser for its devices. They call their internet browser Silk. You go through the same process to install Silk on your Firestick as you would use for installing Firefox.
- Start up your Firestick
- Go to the Search function
- Search for “Silk“
- Install Silk Browser
- Open up the Silk app and select YouTube from the home screen or type in “www.youtube.com” in the address bar
Both browsers are stable and should work equally well.
What About Google Chromecast?
Chromecast has all the same problems as the Firestick, just reversed. You can watch all the YouTube you want, but you don’t get your Prime Video.
Chromecast works by “casting” or “pushing” a streaming video from your smartphone or tablet to the Chromecast connected to your TV. So if you don’t have a charger nearby, say bye-bye to your battery life.
Rumors: Amazon is Making their Own YouTube
Maybe you aren’t that into YouTube and can afford to wait for the rumored Amazon equivalent. You may be waiting forever or at least a very long time.
So far the only thing we know for sure about an Amazon equivalent is that they have filed trademark requests for an “Amazontube” and an “Opentube.”
Nothing has been officially released about either of these. All the info comes from people digging through the trademark paperwork. But they look like they would function almost identically to YouTube.
Amazon has also reportedly been registering domain names like AmazonAlexaTube.com, AlexaOpenTube.com, and AmazonOpenTube.com. Although companies tend to register hundreds of domain names loosely relating to their brand to prevent other people from using them.
Alternatives After the Cutoff for Firestick Losing YouTube
If you don’t want to go through the workarounds, there are still more shows and movies available through your Firestick than you could possibly ever watch. You can find apps on just about anything from sports, to shows, to movies. We even found a yoga channel. (Which is actually really good if you’re into yoga.)
You can even get games on your Firestick. Although, don’t expect it to behave like a proper gaming console or computer. It’s more for casual gaming, but you can still find full-fledged cames like Terraria if you’re willing to pay for them. Check out the best Firestick games of 2018.
Can We Ever Expect to See YouTube Again on the Firestick?
It’s not impossible. But who knows what might happen with two giant corporations trying to find a compromise while still retaining market share.
Amazon did announce that they are planning to start offering Google Chromecast again. Unfortunately, they did not say when they planned on doing this.
If Google is willing to accept that compromise, we may see YouTube return to the Firestick soon. Until then, thank you Firefox!