Webcasts vs. webinars are always confusing. Broadly speaking, they are both virtual gatherings that thrive on audience attendance. But while they’re often used interchangeably, they’re quite different activities. In this blog, we’ll delve into the basic differences between the two and how live streamers can use both to meet their needs.
In this Article:
👩🏻💻 What is a Webcast?
A webcast is a one-way broadcast of content to a large audience. It can either be pre-recorded or a real-time live event. However, there is no engagement or interaction between the host and the viewers. Hence, webcasts have no polls, screen sharing, or live chat features. This means the host must be eloquent and possess exceptional presentation skills to keep the viewers hooked to the webcasts. Exemplary storytelling is what makes a webcast a success.
Webcasts are best suited for one-way communication, such as announcing important corporate news, sharing information for stakeholders, panel discussions, etc. The underlying objective remains to share information and educate the audience without directly engaging with them. The audience is generally large, and the event is ungated to allow maximum participation
👩🏻💻 📢 What is a Webinar?
A webinar is an interactive virtual event that caters to a specific topic and a niche audience. The host engages with the viewers in real-time and uses interactive features such as live chat, screen sharing, file sharing, and other multimedia tools. Conversely, the audience participates by responding to questions, putting up questions, sharing feedback through polls and surveys, and so forth. Hence, the ultimate objective of a webinar is to encourage community building. The audience is generally medium-sized, and the event is gated to restrict participation.
Webinars are best suited for two-way communication, such as product demos, training sessions, interviews, marketing campaigns, virtual meetings, etc. You can also use webinars to share inspiring stories and awareness-driven content. The underlying aim is to build relationships.
🏷️ Fact Check: An average live webinar has around 100 attendees. While 250 may register for a webinar, only 40-50% will attend.
💻 Webcasts vs. Webinars – Know the Difference
So, now you know the primary point of difference between webcasts and webinars – audience interaction. Webcasts are one-way broadcasts that do not engage with the viewers, while webinars are two-way communication platforms that interact with the audience during the live event. Hence, when the objective is to boost audience engagement, webinars are the most optimal tool to interact with the attendees.
Moreover, webinars are more akin to in-person events. Features like live chat, polls, screen sharing, and file sharing allow webinars to create a wholesome live streaming experience similar to on-site physical gatherings.
📽️ Using OneStream Live for Webcasts and Webinars
OneStream Live is an ideal live streaming solution to broadcast your webcasts and webinars. For webcasts, you can use pre-recorded live streaming for easy live streaming. You can create a playlist for your pre-recorded webcasts and schedule them to go live on your desired date and time and your preferred platforms.
For webinars, you can leverage Live Unified Chat to engage and interact with your audience in real-time. More interestingly, you can brand your webinars using several custom features in OneStream Studio – logos, overlays, backgrounds, stickers and banners, and much more. You can even share screen, images, or videos to make your webinars more attractive.
💡 Pro-Tip: You can live stream your Zoom webinars to augment your audience outreach.
To tap into a larger audience base, you can embed your live broadcasts, whether webcasts or webinars, on your website via OneStream Live’s intuitive embed player. Or create a dedicated webpage for your webcast/webinar live streaming using our Live Spaces feature. And if that’s not enough, you can grow your outreach exponentially by multistreaming to more than 40 social media simultaneously – only through OneStream Live.
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OneStream Live is a cloud-based live streaming solution to create, schedule, and multistream professional-looking live streams across 45+ social media platforms and the web simultaneously. For content-related queries and feedback, write to us at [email protected]. You’re also welcome to Write for Us!