What is Webcasting? Everything You Need to Know
The word “webcast” is thrown around regularly online, but what exactly does the term mean?
One can assume that a webcast is online content that is “cast” through the internet, and that definitely isn’t wrong. However, webcasting is a little more specific than that. It’s also a great tool to use in one’s personal life as well as various business industries.
Let’s take a look at what exactly webcasting is and why it is so beneficial.
What is Webcasting?
Essentially, webcasting is the act of broadcasting audio and/or video content online.
Webcasting is a form of media presentation that is dispensed over the internet. It is done by using streaming media platforms in order to distribute one form of content to more than one listener or viewer at the same time. It is simply the process of broadcasting audio or video live over the internet in real-time, which facilitates active and live conversations between the webcaster and their listeners or viewers. It’s worth noting that these conversations and interactions do not happen during the webcast itself. Rather, webcast software may provide a comments section or other form of communication that can accompany a webcast.
A webcast can be presented live as well as on-demand. Some popular forms of webcasting come from radio stations and television channels that simulcast their respective output through online audio streaming and online television streaming. Webcasting is usually not interactive and is produced and broadcasted in linear streams.
Webcasting is a popular medium for business presentations (particularly investor relations), online education, digitizing news and television segments, entertainment, weddings, live streams and other forms of communication.
Webcasting is often thought to be synonymous with web conferencing, but the two terms define separate things. Web conferencing involves live interaction and conversation between multiple parties in a video-based “meeting” setting. It is not possible for webcasting to provide the possibility of such an interaction.
Webcasting can also be synonymous with live streaming. The latter term has become more popular in social use and is often used on social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook.
The History of Webcasting
Some of the earliest forms of webcasting predate 1995. However, Apple Computer’s Webcasting Group was launched that year and is one of the cornerstones of webcast technology. It was mainly used for broadcasting live musical concerts. From there, in combination with the growth of the internet, webcasting became more accessible to the general public.
The Benefits of Webcasting
If one is trying to advertise a product or service, or perhaps is simply trying to share a message with the public, webcasting is by far one of the cheapest ways to do so. Traditional broadcast methods involve using satellites and expensive studios, which is incredibly costly to use in order to connect with an audience. Webcasting over a streaming platform is much more inexpensive and if one owns a decent digital camera or smartphone, it could even be free.
Easy to Use
There are numerous applications available that make the act of webcasting quite simple to do. In most cases, it simply involves connecting to the internet, opening the app, and selecting “Live”. For more complicated forms of broadcasting such as pre-recorded webcasting, there are apps and services available to make the process easy. For the most part, the learning curve of most types of webcasting is very manageable.
Access to a Large Audience
Webcasting involves broadcasting over the internet. Because of this, webcasting can allow the presenter to get in front of the eyes of a substantial amount of viewers all at the same time. Millions of users access the internet in just one second, so webcasting has the potential to expose a business, presenter, or brand to all of those users. Webcasting uses preexisting internet traffic as an effective communication tool, which is a huge advantage.
Mobile Device Access
If someone enjoys what they watched on a particular webcast, they can download the video onto their mobile device and save it for later. Webcasting sites often have a type of catalog that features easy-to-access webcasts that one can go back to and visit even if the user did not catch the original webcast or live stream. This is where webcasting has an advantage over traditional satellite broadcasting, which is notorious for being difficult to access and save content after it is first shown or released.
Webcasting is great for business. Especially when it comes to marketing. Webcasting has a major advantage over print marketing in particular. When one purchases a magazine or newspaper, the editor of that content has no method of finding out what caught your interest. Traditionally, they would only be able to include ads and content that seems to be popular with your particular demographic at the time and hope for the best. With webcasting, a user is already searching the internet for a specific product or solution that a webcast can target. The webcast itself is the marketing campaign for the product or service, and the user is essentially doing the work for the brand.
There are so many great use cases for webcasting, but the biggest one involves reaching an audience.
All industries and all brands have this one element of business in common-- the need to generate leads and access a target audience that is likely to turn out potential customers. Webcasting can be a great method of putting advertising content online through audio and video.
For example, a tech startup that specializes in app-building services could make a webcast through social media demonstrating in real-time how a talented developer manages to build a basic app in less than an hour. It’s entertaining and educational, so viewers will tune in out of fascination. Perhaps the webcast will go viral. Some of the viewers of the webcast are leads that need an application built for their business. The webcast then successfully turns them into customers. It’s really as simple as that, and it applies to so many industries!