With the 2016 Presidential Conventions in full-swing, several digital media companies have lined up to bring live video coverage from the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention to their platforms.
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Twitch, started live streaming the GOP Convention in Cleveland when it kicked off on July 18, and will continue their live coverage throughout the remainder of the Republican National Convention, which concludes on July 21. The four media companies will also provide live streaming coverage throughout the Democratic National Convention that runs July 25-28 in Philadelphia.
The shift towards live video streaming these conventions through digital media arises as young adult Americans are spending less time watching traditional TV and are instead increasing their online and mobile media consumption. According to the latest Nielsen Total Audience Report, Americans age 18-24 spent 10% less time watching live TV from 2015 to 2016.
In order to reach younger audiences, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Twitch are all implementing different strategies and unique approaches to their live video coverage of the two presidential events.
YouTube was the official live streaming provider during the 2012 GOP and Democratic Conventions, and is once again assuming the lead role during the upcoming 2016 Presidential conventions—only this time it will stream both events in 360-degree video. YouTube’s 360-degree videos provide a fully-immersive, wraparound experience that users can control with their fingers via mobile device or the mouse cursor on a computer. The social video network’s coverage will also be viewable in virtual reality (VR), adding a 3D element to the video, via Google Cardboard. According to a company blog post, YouTube will be the first and only media company to provide 360-degree video coverage of the conventions.
YouTube’s coverage of the Republican Convention will be available at http://youtube.com/gopconvention, while coverage of the Democratic Convention can be assessable at http://youtube.com/demconvention.
In an effort to position itself as a leader in live news and entertainment broadcasting, Twitter has partnered up with CBS News to stream live coverage of the entire Republican and Democratic National Conventions on its platform. The San Francisco-based company will provide live video coverage of the conventions across its desktop and mobile apps via the Twitter feed of CBSN, CBS News’ 24-hour digital streaming news service. Alongside the live video, Twitter will feature a stream of tweets related to the conventions, further highlighting the social network’s ability to provide real-time commentary.
According to The New York Times, Twitter’s live streaming of the conventions ties into the social network’s “renewed push to be known for its live, on-the-spot content surrounding news, which is often indispensable to journalists or viewers when major televised events happen.”
Users can find the live stream of both conventions via CBS’ Twitter page (@CBSNews).
Facebook is also looking to bring live video from the GOP and Democratic conventions onto its platform. The social media giant is setting up “Facebook Lounges” at both of the conventions and has invited over 20 media organizations including CNN, Fox News and the New York Times to use the lounge spaces in order to broadcast live video via their live-streaming capability. Facebook Live is the company’s newest feature allowing users to live-stream themselves and broadcast directly to their friends and family on Facebook.
C-SPAN is one media outlet planning to use Facebook Live during the convention, and will be providing live coverage of the events each evening from 8:00 to 11:00 PM (EST). C-SPAN’s live broadcast of the conventions can be found on their Facebook page here. In addition to the invited media outlets, Facebook is also encouraging convention delegates, politicians and individual members of the media to use Facebook Live to broadcast as well.
Facebook’s strategy surrounding its live coverage of the two conventions is a reflection of the social network’s attempt to become a video-first platform which focuses on live content.
Twitch, the popular video-streaming platform and gaming community, will be among the outlets providing full coverage from the two conventions. Twitch users will be able to create their own channels through a function called Host Mode, where users can co-stream the conventions on their own as well as provide commentary. Securing the rights to broadcast the Republican and Democratic conventions is no small feat, given the fact that Twitch, which was launched just five years ago, is amongst top social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Twitch users can view the Republican National Convention at http://twitch.tv/GOPconvention starting July 18 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST), and again from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM (EST). Twitch’s coverage of the remainder of the RNC continues July 19 through July 21, each night from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM (EST). Twitch’s broadcast of the Democratic National Convention starts on July 25, and runs through July 28, each night from 5:00 PM to 11PM (EST). Twitch’s DNC coverage is available at http://twitch.tv/DNC2016.