Webcasting, Web Conferencing, Web Confusion

History of webcasting

We’ve talked a lot about webcasting lately. But not everyone is always clear on exactly what that means. What is webcasting?
Webcasting is increasingly part of corporate communications. It connects global teams and serves as a virtual megaphone for executives. New tools are revolutionizing the experience, making it sleeker, more robust, and easier to use than ever before. Now is the time to perfect your webcasting skills.

So What Is Webcasting, Anyway?

A webcast is an event streamed live to a wide audience, often all around the globe. It could be on the internet, or it could be on an internal CDN. In a broad sense, a webcast can mean audio or video, live or on demand. But what most people mean when they use it in the context of modern enterprise communications is a live video feed of an event, which then can be viewed after the fact as well. Webcasting technology is aimed at servicing a very large audience.

And How Is This Different from Web Conferencing?

Web conferencing is for when a group of people want to meet remotely. Everyone wants to talk; it’s critical that there be no latency (or lag between messages being transmitted and received). The event is many-to-many. It’s the online equivalent of a group meeting.
Webcasting, on the other hand, is one-to-many. A single presenter (or a few presenters together) are broadcast to a large group of people. That doesn’t mean there is no interaction between the speakers and the audience—we’ll get to that in a little bit. But where you use web conferencing to have a conversation, you use webcasting to present to a big audience, all at once. It’s the 21st century version of cramming everyone into an auditorium to listen to a speaker or panel.
Because webcasting is not trying to make all participants equal, it has some advantages when it comes to large audiences. It’s simpler—instead of needing to install software on their computers like in web conferencing, ideally attendees can generally watch in a browser on their device of choice. It often offers a higher video quality. Finally, it’s far more scalable. Web conferencing gets unwieldy and then impossible fast as you increase the number of participants. If you want to have hundreds or thousands of viewers, you need webcasting.

But Why Do I Need Webcasting at All?

For small companies back in the day when everyone worked onsite, it was easy to convene an all-hands meeting. Just round everyone up and stuff them in one big room. But even then, that didn’t work particularly well for large companies with multiple sites. Now, when teams are often global and working remotely is increasingly the norm, getting everyone in one place at one time can be literally impossible.
Webcasting helps improve corporate communications by making it possible to get the same message to everyone, everywhere, at the same time. If someone does come in late or miss the broadcast, DVR and VOD make it possible for them to catch up. It’s also cheaper than trying to fly in teams and produce a large-scale physical event.
It’s an ideal tool for making corporate communications simultaneously unified and personal, providing the CEO the opportunity to reach every employee, (almost) face-to-face. Video improves communication, makes executives more relatable, and connects geographically dispersed teams.
Why is video valuable for enterprise?

What are Webcasts good for?

Here are some ideas on how to incorporate webcasting into your internal corporate communications to make them more effective:

  • Townhalls/all-hands meetings
  • Executive addresses and fireside chats
  • Global team kick-offs and strategy presentations
  • Training sessions
  • Best practices lectures

So what is webcasting? The next great tool in your communications toolbox. So go get started!

What to know more about why you should use webcasting? Check out the infographic.

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