Obama taking State of the Union speech to 'cord cutters'

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By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday will be more available to "cord cutters," a nod to the changing television viewing habits of Americans, the White House said on Sunday. Cable and satellite providers have been grappling with the changing preferences of viewers, who like to watch on mobile devices and on their own schedules - a growing number of whom have canceled subscriptions in favor of Internet-based services. The White House has seen viewers for the annual televised speech drop from a high of 52 million for Obama's first address to Congress in 2009 to last year's 31.7 million, the lowest Nielsen ratings in 15 years. The White House has provided a flood of social media content to go along with the State of the Union speech for several years, recognizing that many Americans were posting on Twitter and Facebook as they watched the address. This year, for the first time, the address will be available to stream on-demand on Amazon Video, as well as the White House website and YouTube channels, said Jason Goldman, the White House chief digital officer. "On Tuesday, get cozy with your favorite Internet-connected device," said Goldman, a former tech industry executive at Twitter and Google, who joined Obama's team last year. "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," he said. Starting on Wednesday, Amazon will also make the speech available across all devices until the end of the week, Goldman said in a statement. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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