What’s the Difference between a webinar and a webcast?
People always wonder, what’s the difference between a webcast and a webinar. There are so many explanations based on the content or the technical point of view. We might need to give ourselves a break from overthinking things and just simply regard them as related terms. Are you more confused now? Let us further explain.
It’s clear that Webcast and Webinar terms came from “Broadcast” and “Seminar“. Broadcast is the practice of transmitting audio/video content through a medium that is available to a large audience. So the content of the broadcast can be anything such as a speech, conference or a seminar, a movie, you get the idea. A seminar is a discussion or a conference where a topic or topics are focused on with interested parties. Now, things have evolved and broadcasting is not only through cable TV anymore and so many things are broadcasted through the internet these days. So people call such broadcasts as “Webcast” as it is distributed on the web. Again, the content could be anything just like a traditional broadcast. If that’s a seminar that you are broadcasting through the internet, it will be a webinar.
There can be several interactive features for a webcast based on the type of meeting that you are hosting and the type of interactive engagement that you are looking for. Usual features are Q&A (Voice, or Text), Polling, Surveys, Quiz, Reactions, Lucky Draws and the list goes on.
If we think of a broadcast of a sports match over the internet, it’ll be only appropriate to call it a webcast rather than a webinar. It goes the same for an award ceremony, media briefing, news announcement, product launch, townhall and so on. On the other hand, if we are broadcasting a financial conference over the internet, it’ll be a webcast, and guess what, we could also call it a webinar, and we can expect interactivities such as Q&A, polling, etc.
Basically, webinars or webcasts are broadcasted over a live video communication platform on the internet. These platforms are generally known as “Webinar App” or “Webinar Software”, “Streaming App” or “Streaming Software” such as Zoom Video Webinar or Webex Events platforms. The platforms come together with live video delivery infrastructure and audience engagement tools such as Q&A, Chat, Polling, and so on.
So basically a webinar or live streaming platform provides 2 main things, live video delivery or distribution and interactivities or audience engagement tools.
In conclusion, Webinar and Webcast are just related terms instead of one opposing another since both broadcast content through the internet.