How does the Democractic National Convention work within the confines of an international pandemic? By taking its convention OTT and live streaming the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination safely to its viewers.
DNCC Live Streams 2020 Convention with Endavo
Americans tuning into the first night of the 2020 DNCC
OTT App downloads
Countries streaming the 2020 DNCC
“The OTT offerings from Endavo were really helpful in managing, utilizing, and streaming to a variety of platforms. We wanted the livestream to be on as many applications as possible, and by building the apps for Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku, Endavo made sure we were on many different platforms.”
– Shelby Wagenseller, Deputy COO, Democratic National Convention Committee
Since 1832, the Democratic National Committee has held a series of conventions to nominate the party’s presidential nominee. In 2020, COVID-19 changed everything.
In a normal presidential election year, the DNC is preparing for a massive, in-person audience, thousands of volunteers and logistical personnel, hundreds of speakers, and politicians and celebrities to celebrate and officially nominate the presidential nominee. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic made large, in-person events a health hazard, the DNC needed a partnership to ensure that the convention, and the voices of the party, were able to be shared safely via over-the-top (OTT) technology.
So how does the Democratic National Convention work around the obstacles and move to digital formats? They prepare to take a four-day convention that previously relied on snippets from mainstream cable networks out of the hands of the press, and into the hands of an experienced live-stream expert.
“We were introduced to Endavo by Steve Glickman, a former advisor in the Obama administration,” said Shelby Wagenseller, deputy COO of the Democratic National Convention Committee. “Once we realized they were able to create the apps that we needed for Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV, and Endavo would be able to help us manage the stream of a variety of platforms, we knew we wanted to move forward with them.”
Even before the spread of the coronavirus starting in the Spring 2020, the DNC knew they’d needed a new way to reach their audience and share their content on-demand through apps and live-stream for voters, delegates, and party members from across the country. To meet those challenges, the DNCC needed to:
- Find a new avenue for sharing content across the country (and the world) as in-person events were being shuttered.
- Offer unedited, live coverage of the entire 2020 convention, along with bonus live and on-demand content, across the four-day event.
- Connect viewers with the diverse perspectives in a new opportunity to democratize the nominating convent and expand access to the event.
Capturing the attention of millions of viewers across multiple platforms in a seamless, four-day experience is no easy feat, but with Endavo, the DNCC team was able to take advantage of the experienced team at Endavo and streamline many of their operations to easily reach more audiences with custom global apps on the three biggest platforms in the world.
Starting on August 17, 2020 and running through August 20, 2020, the DNCC showcased a number of high-profile speeches and presentations, including the acceptance speech from former Vice President Joe Biden, and former First Lady Michelle Obama, by streaming their virtual event.
“This year we prioritized using video-on-demand (VOD), which Endavo provided,” said Hannah Flom, director of content strategy and distribution at the Democratic National Committee. “We know that not a lot of people are going to sit down and watch the convention from 9-11 every night. But, for example, some people really want to watch the Michelle Obama speech. So we made sure that right after she finished speaking, her full 18-minute speech was available on every app so people could go and rewatch it when they wanted to. We also pulled the best highlights and uploaded them individually as well.”
From the technical legwork of building, organizing, and submitting the streaming apps to Apple, Amazon, and Roku prior to the convention to facilitating the live-stream throughout the event Endavo allowed the internal team of editors at the DNC to take the different pieces and help streamline it all into one superior experience for the DNC viewer.
“Overall, we’ve heard really positive results from people because our content was available for people both live and on-demand for so many different platforms,” continued Flom. “And the best with Endavo was that they made everything efficient for us. We would upload everything one time with one connection point and they were able to push to Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku to streamline things on our end.”
“This was an unedited livestream of the DNCC, which means it’s a completely different experience from the app of previous years. We wanted to get unfiltered content to viewers on the platforms where they already consume content and working with somebody like Endavo helped us reach a number of fragmented audiences and build a stronger presence among the different pieces. It was very helpful.”
– Hannah Flom, Director of Content Strategy and Distribution, Democratic National Committee
For those interested in learning what the DNCC plans to do with the 2020 event app since the wrap of the event, the content will still be available for streaming through the end of 2020. But beyond that, it’s all down to what happens at election time four years from now.
“Our organization only exists every four years,” says Andrew Binns, COO of the Democratic National Committee. “But certainly, we look forward to coming back and working with Endavo again.”
“The Endavo team is great,” says Wagenseller. “They’re always available and always willing to help. Part of our partnership was pro-bono so to have them be so generous in giving us the service and then going over the top with customer service was great.”