A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the
streaming media 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" over the Internet.
The largest "webcasters" include existing radio and TV stations, who
"simulcast" their output through online TV or online radio streaming,
as well as a multitude of
Internet only "stations". Webcasting usually
consists of providing 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.
4 See also
Webcasting is 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, which is designed for many-to-many
The ability to webcast using cheap/accessible technology has allowed
independent media to flourish. There are many notable independent
shows that broadcast regularly online. Often produced by average
citizens in their homes they cover many interests and topics. Webcasts
relating to computers, technology, and news are particularly popular
and many new shows are added regularly.
Webcasting differs from podcasting in that webcasting refers to live
streaming while podcasting simply refers to media files placed on the
Webcasting is the distribution of media files through the internet.
The earliest graphically-oriented web broadcasts were not streaming
video, but were in fact still frames which were photographed with a
web camera every few minutes while they were being broadcast live over
the Internet. One of the earliest instances of sequential live image
broadcasting was in 1991 when a camera was set up next to the Trojan
Room in the computer laboratory of the University of Cambridge. It
provided a live picture every few minutes of the office coffee pot to
all desktop computers on that office's network. A couple of years
later its broadcasts went to the Internet, became known as the Trojan
Room Coffee Pot webcam, and gained international notoriety as a
feature of the fledgling World Wide Web. 
Later in 1996 an American college student and conceptual artist, Jenny
Ringley, set up a web camera similar to the Trojan Room Coffee Pot's
webcam in her dorm room. That webcam photographed her every few
minutes while it broadcast those images live over the
Internet upon a
site called JenniCam. Ringley wanted to portray all aspects of her
lifestyle and the camera captured her doing almost everything –
brushing her teeth, doing her laundry, and even having sex with her
boyfriend. Her website generated millions of hits upon the
Internet, became a pay site in 1998, and spawned hundreds of female
imitators who would then use streaming video to create a new billion
dollar industry called camming, and brand themselves as camgirls or
One of the earliest webcast equivalent of an online concert and one of
the earliest examples of webcasting itself was by Apple Computer's
Webcasting Group in partnership with the entrepreneurs Michael Dorf
and Andrew Rasiej. Together with
David B. Pakman
David B. Pakman from Apple, 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 later webcast a concert by
Metallica on June 10, 1996
live from Slim's in San Francisco.
In 1995, Benford E. Standley produced one of the first audio/video
webcasts in history.
On October 31, 1996, UK rock band Caduseus broadcast their one-hour
concert from 11 pm to 12 midnight (UT) at Celtica in
Machynlleth, Wales, UK – the first live streamed audio and
simultaneous live streamed video multicast – around the globe
to more than twenty direct "mirrors" in more than twenty
In September 1997, Nebraska Public
Television started webcasting Big
Red Wrap Up from Lincoln, Nebraska which combined highlights from
every Cornhusker football game, coverage of the coaches' weekly press
conferences, analysis with Nebraska sportswriters, appearances by
special guests and questions and answers with viewers.
On August 13, 1998, it is generally believed the first webcast wedding
took place, between Alan K'necht and Carrie Silverman in Toronto
On October 22, 1998, the first Billy Graham Crusade was broadcast live
to a worldwide audience from the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa
Florida courtesy of Dale Ficken and the WebcastCenter in Pennsylvania.
The live signal was broadcast via satellite to PA, then encoded and
streamed via the BGEA website.
The first teleconferenced/webcast wedding to date is believed to have
occurred on December 31, 1998. Dale Ficken and Lorrie Scarangella wed
on this date as they stood in a church in Pennsylvania, and were
married by Jerry Falwell while he sat in his office in Lynchburg,
Virtually all major broadcasters now have a webcast of their output,
Al Jazeera to UNTV in television to Radio
China, Vatican Radio, United Nations
Radio and the World Service
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, the college radio station of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill became the first radio station in the
world to broadcast its signal over the internet.
Translated versions including
Subtitling are now possible using SMIL
Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language.
A wedcast is a webcast of a wedding. It allows family and
friends of the couple to watch the wedding in real time on the
Internet. It is sometimes used for weddings in exotic locations, such
as Cancun and the Riviera Maya,
Hawaii or the Caribbean, for which it
is very expensive or difficult for people to travel to see the wedding
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 led to a recent increase in this phenomenon.
Look up webcast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
International Webcasting Association
Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language
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p. 4. access-date= requires url= (help)
WXYC announces the first 24-hour real-time world-wide Internet
radio simulcast" (Press release).
WXYC 89.3 FM. November 7, 1994.
Retrieved April 5, 2008.
^ a b Blanton, Kimberly (October 22, 2007). "Can't make the ceremony?
Watch the wedcast".
The International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune / The Boston
^ Lee-St. John, Jeninne (December 6, 2007). "Wedcasting". Time.
^ "Funeral webcasting is alive and well", Spectrum, IEEE .
Internet television and radio (Webcast
BitTorrent television and movies)
Pirate radio / Pirate television
Adult television channels
Children's interest channel / Children's television series
Men's interest channel
Movie television channels
Music radio / Music television
Sports television channels
Women's interest channel
Broadcast television systems
Digital on-screen graphic
Television news screen layout