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Amazon May Use Another Workaround to Bring YouTube Back to the Echo Show (EXCLUSIVE)

Get ready for the cat-and-mouse game between Amazon and Google to continue: Variety has learned from a source with knowledge of Amazon’s efforts  that the company is already considering another workaround to bring YouTube back to the Echo Show.

Google blocked two previous implementations of YouTube on the device, pulling the plug on the Echo Show’s most recent YouTube app this past Tuesday. However, developers at Amazon are apparently working on another way to bring YouTube back to the device, which they could implement on short notice, according to our source.

Whether the company actually goes ahead these plans, risking a further rift with Google, is unclear at this point. On Tuesday, Amazon signaled that it may instead be looking to settle its differences with the competitor, telling press in response to Google blocking YouTube on the Echo Show that it hoped to resolve the issue “with Google as soon as possible.”

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

The Echo Show, a smart speaker with integrated display, launched this summer with a custom-built implementation of YouTube that was optimized for voice control. Google blocked that implementation in September, alleging that it violated YouTube’s terms of service. Amazon quickly built a workaround to access a web-based implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show, which it launched in November.

This Tuesday, Google pulled the plug on that workaround as well, and also announced that it would turn off YouTube access for Amazon’s Fire TV devices by the end of the year. In a statement, Google not only blasted Amazon for violating YouTube’s terms of service, but also for refusing to sell Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter and other Google hardware. “We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon,” a spokesperson added.

The pressure is clearly on for Amazon to do something, either with or without Google’s blessing. Holiday sales are already in high gear, and sales of the Echo Show could suffer if YouTube remained unavailable on the device.

Google on the other hand may be willing to wait it out, and quietly enjoy the payback. When Amazon removed Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter from its store in 2015, it did so in late October — just as the busiest shopping time of the year was about to begin.

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