While Americans have been able to stream the State of the Union address via the Internet in one way or another since 2002, it’s certainly gotten much easier over the last few years. Now it’s about to get even easier as for the first time, the address will be available via Amazon Video.
The latest platform to show the address was announced in a Medium post by White House Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldmam sharing the administration’s strategy for “meeting people where they are.” Amazon Video joins the official White House stream and YouTube as an alternative to viewing the address via traditional broadcast television.
Live streaming isn’t the only presence the 2016 State of the Union will have on the web by a long shot. “From live GIFs on Tumblr to 6-second videos on Vine and photos on Instagram, we’ll build on previous efforts to connect with users across a range of social media sites and make the experience of the speech appropriate to each platform,” Goldman wrote.
In addition to the 2016 State of the Union, past addresses have also been added to Amazon Video. All are available to watch free of charge, though you will need to sign up for an Amazon account if you don’t have one already.
In the Medium post, Goldman takes a moment to explore landmark State of the Union addresses from the past, noting that while the U.S. Constitution tells us that the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,” it doesn’t state exactly how the information needs to be communicated.
The first TV broadcast of the address took place in 1947 while Harry Truman was in office, while it wasn’t until Lyndon Johnson’s address in 1965 that it took place during prime time. The first live webcast took place in 2002 during George W. Bush’s administration, with the first HD TV broadcast coming two years later in 2004. 2011 saw the first “enhanced” State of the Union, with slides and other information being presented along with the broadcast.
For more information on what the White House will be doing differently for the State of the Union this year, see Goldman’s post on Medium.
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