What is a Webcast—Definition, Purpose, And How it Works

Simply put, a webcast is a broadcast over the web. Businesses use webcasts routinely to produce meetings, events, and workshops. The goal is to ensure that more people participate, irrespective of their location. Webcasts can be great as a communication or marketing tool.
More and more businesses are finding that investing in video content is a highly engaging way to market products and connect with customers. Audio-visual content can really leave an impression on target groups.

Video presentations, watched live, can also give an attendee a sense of being connected to a space. Recorded video content can be edited and finished with high production values that reflect positively on a business or product, giving an impression of high levels of professionalism.

So, what is a webcast? Let us discuss this in detail.

What is a Webcast?

A webcast involves streaming an audio-video feed of an event or meeting over the internet. Typically, you record a webcast with one or more cameras and microphones. Using webcast software, this is then cast and can be accessed by people remotely through a login. Webcast software typically has features built-in to preserve the highest possible audio and video quality. It also helps stream the webcast to multiple device types, screen resolutions, and internet bandwidths.

Webcast software typically also bundles interactive tools. These tools help webcast attendees participate and interact more actively. Examples of these tools can include live polls, Q&A support, file sharing, and social media integration.

You can also record webcasts so they are available on-demand after the initial live event. Recording your webcast helps reach a larger audience and makes the content available to those who missed the original live version. Webcast software can also provide detailed analytics and statistics, enabling businesses to analyze their success.

The Various Applications of a Webcast

Businesses use webcasts in many creative ways. Due to the format’s versatility, it lends itself well to several use cases. Here are some typical applications for webcasts:

1) Conferences and meetings

Carrying out in-person conferences and meetings can sometimes be impractical. High travel costs, logistical challenges, and the current pandemic can often prevent people from attending. With the help of webcasts, you can conduct conferences and meetings remotely, which provides a close approximation of the face-to-face experience. Companies with large or global presences can benefit most by conducting their meetings and conferences over webcast.

2) Training

For easy and consistent training, webcasts can be a perfect solution. Companies can use webcasts to put forward training videos and workshops. The interactive format makes it easy for trainers to answer questions and share supplementary material. Since you can record webcasts, the recordings also have an archival quality for training in the future.

3) Marketing

Webcasts can be an excellent way to highlight new products and services. With webcasts, businesses can announce and launch products. The format makes it easy to create attractive demos and presentations that display the product in all its glory. With the help of ready analytics of how audiences are engaging, marketing-focused webcasts can also provide valuable insight.

4) Corporate communications

Webcasts can be a concrete platform for corporate communications of all kinds. Companies can use webcasts for internal communication. Access control features can help make certain that the right webcasts reach the right people. Webcasts can also be beneficial to interface with business partners, suppliers, stakeholders, and any other manner of corporate audience.

How Does a Webcast Work?

Creating and running a webcast involves specific hardware and software requirements. At the core is the right webcast software platform, which integrates the features you need. In terms of hardware, you can use cameras and microphones to capture real-time audio and video. You can feed the audio and video into a computer that runs the webcast software. Depending on the size and scope of the webcast, it might require one or more computers or servers. High-speed internet with high bandwidth and load-bearing capabilities is also a huge plus.

The hardware captures the media and feeds it into the webcast software. The software handles audio and video encoding duties. It then streams the live audio-visual feed to attendees, which is usually accessible through links and user credentials.

When the software receives a connection request, it starts a stream with the corresponding user. Users can access webcasts from a variety of devices. The software chooses the appropriate resolution and file size to serve, based on factors such as user screen size and bandwidth.

On A Final Note

So, what is a webcast? It can be an incredible resource for businesses if used in innovative ways. It enables them to achieve many things from a remote location instead of the in-person presence of participants. Modern webcast software also integrates essential features. These can help attendees interact, participate, and boost engagement. With the rich insight you acquire from webcast analytics, you can construct business goals and strategies going forward. You can also get actionable feedback on marketing efforts and product launches.

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