Election Tech: How to stream the State of the Union, and the tech issues to watch

The 2016 State of the Union address will be streamed and available on-demand in more ways than ever. Learn where to watch, and the key issues tech and business professionals should track in the speech.

Image: bpperry/iStock

On broadcast stations everywhere the State of the Union address will air at 9:00 pm ET on Tuesday. But why simply watch the #SOTU, when you can experience the historic speech on the social web? The annual speech is always a lively social media event, and this year is President Obama's is final State of the Union. Video posts, snapshots, and links to key talking points will flood every major social media platform.

In a post on Medium White House Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldman recently enumerated how Presidential addresses have evolved in tandem with modern media trends. Goldman explained importance of social media, and the White House's new "be where people are" digital media strategy:

What does it mean to "meet people where they are?" First, it means recognizing the massive shift in the American media diet toward on-demand video. For the first time, this year [sic] SOTU will be available to stream on-demand on Amazon Video, in addition to and our YouTube channel. And beginning Wednesday through the end of the week, Amazon will make the speech available across all devices for Americans to watch the State of the Union in the same way we're used to consuming video content in 2016. So, for those who've cut the cord from cable and network TV: Whether you use a smart TV, web browser, mobile device, or tablet there's a way for you to watch the President's speech as it happens and on-demand.

To that end, tonight's State of the Union is available on most major streaming platforms.

Video streams:

Mobile audio:

White House social media:

  • Twitter - Live conversation on trending topics.
  • Facebook - An event the public can check in to.
  • Tumblr - Links and text context about the speech, released in real-time.
  • Vine - Six second video excerpts from the speech, as well as Congressional response.
  • Snapchat - Behind the scenes shots, before and after the speech.
  • Instagram - Photo snapshots and short video from the speech.

Key tech and business issues

The President is likely to reflect on his tenure in office, and discuss the economy, health care reform, climate change, terrorism, and gun control issues. Additionally, as you watch the State of the Union, keep an eye out for these hot business technology issues:

  • Net neutrality
  • Encryption
  • Cybersecurity
  • Broadband expansion
  • Immigration and H1B Visas
  • Open data
  • Digitizing health records and EMR
  • Jobs retraining for digital careers

After the speech, President Obama will be interviewed by YouTube stars Ingrid Nelson, sWooZie, and Destin Sandlin.

The Republican response will be delivered by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and video will be streamed on the official GOP home page.

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Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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