Amazon is partnering with the White House to make Barack Obama's upcoming State of the Union address viewable on demand, marking the first time the annual events have been put on an on-demand video service. The speech, along with the president's previous seven State of the Union addresses, will be made available on its Amazon Video platform this week.
In competition with Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services, Amazon has followed their lead in producing its own shows, but the decision to take on the president's address shows that Amazon is looking at public service as well as pure entertainment as a way to expand. This partnership with the White House makes Amazon look more like PBS than a traditional TV network, and also offers a way for cord cutters to watch a national news event without having to huddle around a monitor or use a Chromecast-esque streaming option.
But this certainly isn't the first time Americans have been able to watch the State of the Union online. The White House started broadcasting the president's annual addresses on the internet during George W. Bush's presidency in 2002, and began live streaming an "enhanced" version of the speech from 2011, during Barack Obama's first term. This year, again, you'll also be able to watch the whole address live on YouTube or on the White House's site, but if you miss it — or just want to pore through a piece of history as the president takes the podium — here's another chance to watch Obama's last State of the Union.