In challenge to Amazon, Google adds YouTube to home assistants
- YouTube and YouTube TV will be available on future Google Assistant-powered "smart display" devices, Google said at its recent I/O conference, according to Digiday.
- The move challenges Amazon and its network of home assistants, potentially giving Google's efforts to compete with Amazon in voice a major boost, ad buyers told Digiday.
- Earlier this month, YouTube opened YouTube TV to Google Preferred so that advertisers can buy against TV channels on the monthly subscription service, Digiday also has reported. Music videos from Universal, Sony and Vevo are now available on Google Preferred, as well as live music events.
Amazon gets credit for being the first mover in the voice activated smart speaker space, but with the age of video rapidly approaching for these devices, Google is preparing a major challenge to Alexa's market dominance.
With consumers able to view YouTube and YouTube TV on their Google Assistants, the Amazon Echo ecosystem will be confronted with a wide breadth of content, combining live TV, video, search and voice in one device, as Digiday reported. It's still not clear how, or if, the Apple HomePod can compete with the content advantages of Google and Amazon.
At present, Amazon's Echo devices have 66% of the market, while Google has 30%, according to a March Kantar research study. Only 34% of Americans own a smart speaker now, and 1% of survey respondents owned an Amazon Echo Show with video. This leaves "ample room for competitors like Google and Apple to make their own inroads into peoples' homes," the report said.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Google said four major manufacturers — JBL, LG, Lenovo and Sony — will make products that will include Google Assistant. Other companies integrating Google Assistant into their own smart speaker products now include Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, Jensen, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, RIVA Audio and SōLIS.
Google and Amazon have been warring over home speaker turf, with Amazon withholding search results for Google Home. A search this week on Amazon for Google Home listed only Echo products. For its part, Google has pulled YouTube from Amazon video services and ads from Google Shopping, according to PPC Land. Amazon does the same for other Google products like Chromecast, while Google Cast does not offer Prime video.
Amazon recently began selling video ads on the Amazon Advertising Platform for all of its properties that run video ads, such as Twitch, IMDb, the Amazon homepage and Fire TV. The change is meant to allow Amazon to use its first-party data to better advantage advertisers.