A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the Internet using streaming media
Streaming media
Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a streaming provider.The term "presented" is used in this article in a general sense that includes audio or video playback. The name refers to the delivery method of the medium rather...

 technology to distribute a single content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand. Essentially, webcasting is “broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

” over the Internet.

The largest "webcasters" include existing radio and TV stations, who "simulcast
Simulcast, shorthand for "simultaneous broadcast", refers to programs or events broadcast across more than one medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at the same time. For example, Absolute Radio is simulcast on both AM and on satellite radio, and the BBC's Prom concerts are often...

" their output, as well as a multitude of Internet only "stations". The term webcasting usually refers to non-interactive linear streams or events. Rights and licensing bodies offer specific "webcasting licenses" to those wishing to carry out Internet broadcasting using copyrighted material.

Webcasting is also used extensively in the commercial sector for investor relations presentations (such as Annual General Meetings), in E-learning (to transmit seminars), and for related communications activities. However, webcasting does not bear much, if any, relationship to web conferencing
Web conferencing
Web conferencing refers to a service that allows conferencing events to be shared with remote locations. Most vendors also provide either a recorded copy of an event, or a means for a subscriber to record an event. The service allows information to be shared simultaneously, across geographically...

, which is designed for many-to-many interaction.

The ability to webcast using cheap/accessible technology has allowed independent media
Independent media
Independent media refers to any form of media, such as radio, television, newspapers or the Internet, that is free of influence by government or corporate interests. The term has varied applications...

 to flourish. There are many notable independent shows that broadcast
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 regularly online. Often produced by average citizens in their homes they cover many interests and topics. Webcasts relating to computers, technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, and news are particularly popular and many new shows are added regularly.


"Webcasting" was first publicly described and presented by Brian Raila of GTE Laboratories at InterTainment '89, 1989, held in New York City, USA. Raila recognized that a viewer/listener need not download the entirety of a program to view/listen to a portion thereof, so long as the receiving device ("client computer") could, over time, receive and present data more rapidly than the user could digest the same. Raila used the term "buffered media" to describe this concept.

Raila was joined by James Paschetto of GTE Laboratories to further demonstrate the concept. Paschetto was singularly responsible for the first workable prototype of streaming media, which Raila presented and demonstrated at the Voice Mail Association of Europe 1995 Fall Meeting of October, 1995, in Montreux, Switzerland. Alan Saperstein
Alan Saperstein
Alan Saperstein is an American Internet entrepreneur working specifically in the video and digital media field. He is recognized for his accomplishments in the streaming media field as the first person to broadcast video on the Internet in a commercial application with a product called Hotelview...

 (Visual Data, now known as Onstream Media (Nasdaq:ONSM), was the first company to feature video webcasting in June 1993 with HotelView, a travel library of two minute videos featuring thousands of hotel properties worldwide.

On November 4, 1994, Stef van der Ziel distributed the first live video images over the web from the Simplon venue in Groningen. On November 7, 1994, WXYC
WXYC is a radio station broadcasting a college radio format. Licensed to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, the station is run by students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The station is currently owned by Student Educational Broadcasting...

, the college radio station of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

 became the first radio station in the world to broadcast its signal over the internet.

The term webcasting was coined (in the early/mid 1990s) when webcast/streaming pioneers Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is an American business magnate and investor. He is the owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and the chairman of the HDTV cable network HDNet....

 (Audionet), Howard Gordon
Howard Gordon
Howard Gordon is an American screenwriter and producer.-Life and career:Gordon was born in Queens, New York, New York. After graduating from Princeton in 1984, Gordon came to Los Angeles with fellow filmmaker Alex Gansa to pursue a career in writing for television. Both broke into the industry...

 (Xing Technologies), William Mutual (ITV.net), Craig Schmieder (Applied Media Resources) and Peggy Miles
Peggy Miles
Peggy Miles was an early pioneer in webcasting and digital media commencing in 1995. Author of numerous books, she is a leading business strategist and founder of the International Webcasting Association. She founded InterVox Communications in 1995 which provides digital media strategy and business...

 (InterVox Communications) got together with a community of webcasters to pick a term to describe the technology of sending audio and video on the Net… that might make sense to people. The term netcasting was a consideration, but one of the early webcast community members owned a company called NetCast, so that term was not used, seeking a name that would not be branded to one company. Discussions were also conducted about the term with the National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association, workers union, and lobby group representing the interests of for-profit, over-the-air radio and television broadcasters in the United States...

 for their books — Internet Age Broadcaster I and II, written by Peggy Miles and Dean Sakai.

The actual word "webcast" was coined by Daniel Keys Moran
Daniel Keys Moran
Daniel Keys Moran , also known by his initials DKM, is an American computer programmer and a science fiction writer.-Biography:Moran was born to Richard Joseph Moran and Marilynn Joyce Moran...

 in his 1988 novel The Armageddon Blues:
Translated versions including Subtitling are now possible using SMIL Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
SMIL , the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, is a W3C recommended XML markup language for describing multimedia presentations. It defines markup for timing, layout, animations, visual transitions, and media embedding, among other things...



Virtually all the major broadcasters have a webcast of their output, from the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 to CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 to Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 to UNTV in television to Radio China, Vatican Radio, United Nations Radio and the World Service in radio.

The earliest webcast equivalent of an online concert
A concert is a live performance before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band...

 and one of the earliest examples of webcasting itself was by Apple Computer
Apple Computer
Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad...

's Webcasting Group in partnership with the entrepreneurs Michael Dorf
Michael Dorf
Michael Dorf is the name of:* Michael C. Dorf, American law professor* Michael Dorf , American entrepreneur...

 and Andrew Rasiej. Together with David B. Pakman
David B. Pakman
David B. Pakman is an internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As a Partner in Venrock’s New York City office, David focuses on early stage venture investing in internet and digital media companies...

 from Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

, they launched the Macintosh New York Music Festival from July 17–22, 1995. This event audio webcast concerts from more than 15 clubs in New York City. Apple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

 later webcast a concert by Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

 on June 10, 1996 live from Slim's in San Francisco.

In 1996, Apple webcast the Recording Academy Grammy awards.

In January 1997, the launch of UK NetYear was webcast from London. Managed by Chelgate
Chelgate Limited is an independent and international public relations and public affairs consultancy. Founded by Terence Fane-Saunders in 1988, the firm has its headquarters in London with offices in Brussels, Belgium, and Bucharest, Romania, and a network of associates across the world.Terence...

, it was the second webcast in the UK, the first being a David Bowie concert some months earlier. The UK NetYear webcast was only watched by a handful of people, although it was also simulataneously broadcast by satellite from London to Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, and to 23 schools around the country.

On August 13, 1998, it is generally believed the first webcast wedding took place, between Alan K'necht and Carrie Silverman in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...


A notable webcast took place in September 1999 to launch NetAid
NetAid is an anti-poverty initiative. It started as a joint venture between the United Nations Development Programme and Cisco Systems. It became an independent nonprofit organization in 2001. In 2007, NetAid became a part of Mercy Corps...

, a project to promote Internet use in the world's poorest countries. Three high profile concerts were to be broadcast simultaneously on the BBC, MTV
MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

 and over the Internet: a London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 concert at Wembley Stadium featuring the likes of Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams
Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams is an English singer-songwriter, vocal coach and occasional actor. He is a member of the pop group Take That. Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and certain group members, Williams...

 and George Michael
George Michael
George Michael is a British musician, singer, songwriter and record producer who rose to fame in the 1980s when he formed the pop duo Wham! with his school friend, Andrew Ridgeley...

; a New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 concert featuring Bono
Paul David Hewson , most commonly known by his stage name Bono , is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his...

 of U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

 and Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean is a Haitian musician, record producer, and politician. At age nine, Jean moved to the United States with his family and has spent much of his life in the country...

; and a Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...


More recently, Live8 (AOL
AOL Inc. is an American global Internet services and media company. AOL is headquartered at 770 Broadway in New York. Founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, it has franchised its services to companies in several nations around the world or set up international versions of its services...

) claimed around 170,000 concurrent viewers (up to 400 Kb/s) and the BBC received about the same (10 Gb/s) on the day of the 7 July 2005 bombings in London. The growth of webcast traffic has roughly doubled, year on year, since 1995 and is directly linked to broadband penetration.

The first free Sunday morning webcast of a live worship service in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was initiated in January 2005 at Wekiva Presbyterian Church
Wekiva Presbyterian church
Wekiva Presbyterian Church is a large congregation of the Presbyterian Church founded in May 1977.The church is located at 211 Wekiva Springs Lane, near the intersection of State Road 434 and Wekiva Springs Road in Longwood, Florida, a suburb of Orlando.Services are provided every Sunday morning...

 of Longwood, FL; this webcast ministry is ongoing.

Connecting Media was one of the first companies to do live webcasting using a special IFP Van (Internet Field Production) dedicated to webcasting.

Today, webcasts are being used more frequently and by novice users. Live webcasts enable the viewing of presentations, business meetings, and seminars etc. for those that telecommute rather than attend. Such sites offer live broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 as an affordable alternative to attending physical public speaking
Public speaking
Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners...

 events expanding the viewing audience to anyone that has an internet connection. Other live webcasts are held completely online independent of any offline component. Webcast content network sites can enable users to find content that interests them by searching the site.

Private users can use social webcast forums such as YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

, commercial webcast forums such as BrightTALK
-Overview:BrightTALK is a professional webinar and video solution provider which is headquartered in London and has offices in San Francisco and New York.-History:...

 or enterprise webcasting platforms such as Mediasite by Sonic Foundry
Sonic Foundry
Sonic Foundry is the former developer of various media software suites, which were purchased by Sony in late 2003 for $18 million in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities and obligations...

. Usually, no sophisticated technical experience or equipment is required and content (commonly limited to 10 or 30 minutes) can simply be uploaded.

Live sporting events, both local and national, have also quickly become frequent webcast subjects. With regard to smaller events such as Little League
Little League
Little League Baseball and Softball is a non-profit organization in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States which organizes local youth baseball and softball leagues throughout the U.S...

, amateur sports
Amateur sports
Amateur sports are sports in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration. Sporting amateurism was a zealously guarded ideal in the 19th century, especially among the upper classes, but faced steady erosion throughout the 20th century with the continuing growth of pro sports...

, small college sports, and high school sports, webcasting allows these events to have full audio or video coverage online when they may not be able to book standard radio or TV time. Websites like Meridix Webcast Network
Meridix Webcast Network
The Meridix Webcast Network is a webcast network which allows schools, sports teams, universities, and other organizations to webcast their own events through live streaming audio and video, real time game scores and data, text message or email alerts, and mobile content tools...

, Texas Sports Radio Network, SportsJuice, and others allow local schools, teams, and broadcasters to produce their own webcasts, which also have the advantage of being accessible to anyone with an internet connection (i.e. relatives several states away), unlike the range and market limitations of terrestrial radio and TV.


A wedcast is a webcast of a wedding
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes...

. It allows family and friends of the couple to watch the wedding in real time on the Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. It is sometimes used for weddings in exotic locations, such as Cancun and the Riviera Maya, Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 or the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, for which it is very expensive or difficult for people to travel to see the wedding in person.

Webcasting a funeral is also a service provided by some funeral homes. Although it has been around for a decade, cheaper broadband, the financial strain of travel, and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have all lead to a recent increase in this phenomenon.

See also

  • International Webcasting Association
    International Webcasting Association
    The International Webcasting Association is a non-profit organization that works to promote effective and efficient delivery of multimedia content, including webcasting and streaming media, over the Internet and other digital networks. The IWA serves as a forum for the ideas, people and issues...

  • Media clip
    Media clip
    A media clip is a short segment of media, either an audio clip or a video clip.Media clips may be promotional in nature, as with movie clips. For example, to promote upcoming movies, many actors are accompanied by movie clips on their circuits. Additionally, media clips may be raw materials of...

  • Netcast
  • Podcast
    A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

  • Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
    Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
    SMIL , the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language, is a W3C recommended XML markup language for describing multimedia presentations. It defines markup for timing, layout, animations, visual transitions, and media embedding, among other things...

  • Vlog
    Video blogging, sometimes shortened to vlogging or vidding or vidblogging is a form of blogging for which the medium is video, and is a form of Web television. Entries often combine embedded video or a video link with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take...

  • Web radio
  • Webisode
    A webisode is a short episode which airs initially as Internet television, either download or stream as opposed to first airing on broadcast or cable television. The format can be used as a preview, a promotion, as part of a collection of shorts, or a commercial.A webisode can be an episode...

  • Webinar

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.