Earlier in December, Google pulled YouTube from both the Amazon Echo Show and its Fire TV devices. Lately, there have been signs that the two companies may be patching things up, but Amazon may be considering creating its own competitor to YouTube.
Additionally, Amazon filed two trademark requests with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for two names: Amazontube and Opentube. These applications went unnoticed for some time until the requests were spotted by TV Answer Man. The names alone might not mean much, but there is much more there than just names.
The descriptions for the names in the application include a fair amount of detail, including that the possible streaming services would provide “non-downloadable pre-recorded audio, visual and audiovisual works via wireless networks on a variety of topics.” The application also notes that the services would offer “online network services that enable users to share content, photos videos, text, data, images and other electronic works relating to entertainment.”
While this doesn’t sound exactly like YouTube, it sounds close. Though not mentioned in the descriptions, it seems like this possible service would offer tight integration with Amazon’s Alexa. Amazon registered three new domain names in December, as reported by Domain Name Wire: AlexaOpenTube.com, AmazonAlexaTube.com, and AmazonOpenTube.com.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that another video streaming service from Amazon will launch in the coming months, or even further out. Companies register trademarks they don’t end up using fairly regularly, not to mention that Google and its parent company Alphabet would likely pursue legal action based on the names alone. The latter could be easily changed, but as numerous companies have found out the hard way, launching a competitor to a juggernaut like YouTube isn’t quite as easy as it may seem.
Considering the date of the filings, this could have been a reflexing move based on Google’s plans to remove YouTube from the Echo Show. Of course, Google’s move could have been in response to the company hearing rumors of Amazon planning a competitor to YouTube. It’s likely that we’ll never know, but at least for the time being, Amazon is keeping quiet about what it intends to do with those names.