The short answer: business. Disney+ won’t be on Amazon Fire TV devices until Disney and Amazon reach an agreement on business terms.
Update: Days before the Disney+ launch, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the app will make it onto Amazon Fire TV devices after all.
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What’s the Deal with Amazon?
Streaming services like Disney+ get booted off of Fire TV all the time. Anybody who has used Amazon’s Fire TV devices over the past few years is familiar with this issue. The way Amazon sees it, streaming services should pay for the privilege of being placed on its platform. Unsurprisingly, the streaming services don’t agree.
YouTube’s Battle with Amazon
A petty battle between the two tech giants lasted for more than two years. Amazon refused to sell Google’s devices that competed with Amazon’s own Echo and Fire TV devices. In response, Google blocked those devices from accessing YouTube. Then Amazon said in effect “Fine be that way. We won’t put Chromecast support in our apps.”
Even though the only ones actually hurt by this feud were the companies’ shared customers, they kept it up until early 2019.
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Disney+ and Amazon
The disagreement over Disney+ and Fire TV is a little more serious. According to a report in The Verge, the odds are low of Disney+ being on Amazon Fire TV devices. Citing The Wall Street Journal, The Verge reported that Amazon is demanding the right to sell ad space on the Disney+ app. So far, Disney’s executives have refused.
Disney’s attitude isn’t surprising since that would be like letting Amazon plaster billboards all over Disney’s theme parks. Consider how poor the Amazon advertising is: you either get ads for products you don’t want or you get ads for products you’ve already bought.
There is one consistent characteristic of Disney across its content, merchandising and theme park businesses. Only Disney controls the Disney experience. If you’re a Disney/Marvel/Star Wars fan who owns a Fire TV device, you might want to consider replacing it with one of the other devices with Disney+ apps.
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