What’s the Difference Between Webcast and Livestream?

What’s the Difference Between Webcast and Livestream?

With the invention of the television, broadcasting has been around ever since. Live broadcasting happens mostly during momentous events. One great example of live broadcasting happened on the 20th of July, 1969. This is when the United States astronauts landed for the first time, on the moon. Everyone saw this live on TV and it was marked as one of the most important moments in the history of mankind.

A few decades later, the internet comes in. Since then, everyone can broadcast live from almost everywhere. They do it from events, different places, from their bedroom, and even from their bathroom. Then someone announces, “We’ll do a webcast on Thursday!” or “I’ll live-stream tomorrow at noon!” And now you wonder, what’s the difference between webcast and live-stream?

First, let’s talk about their similarities.

  • Both presentations happen, streaming video over the internet.
  • Both can be interactive. You can perform polls or even take in comments.
  • Both can have many viewers and participants.
  • Both can be done with a recorded video

Now let’s look at them by definition.


A webcast is an online presentation from a single source of content to many audience watching at the same time. It can be distributed live or recorded video. Webcasts generally target a large audience. Most webcasters have their online channels. They can broadcast live and viewers can watch them on demand. Webcasters are mostly done by commercial organizations, like TV, radio, and private companies. Because webcasts focus on a larger audience, interactivity less likely happens. But they do provide online polls or read comments on some occasions.


Livestream is online streaming of contents from different sources to many different viewers. Livestreams can broadcast live or recorded videos. It normally targets smaller audience. Livestream offers a more intimate interaction with their viewers. Live-streamers distribute their content through social media. Because social media is dominated by influencers, they are the ones who mostly do live streaming. Influencers are social media celebrities who have a reach of at least a thousand to millions of followers.

In recent years, live streaming is one of the most common marketing tools in the online gaming industry. The gaming industry has become increasingly more popular because of live-streaming. And speaking of marketing tools, online businesses thrive because of live-streaming. As an online business tool, then can interact live with their audience. This helps them produce higher conversion rates.

Livestreaming is not limited to online celebrities or online businesses. Anyone can do live-stream from the comfort of their bedroom. Their target is typically friends and family. Do you now see the difference?

Here are things to consider when choosing an online streaming method: Webcast works best with a larger audience. It has limited audience interaction because of their huge number of viewers. But because of the massive amount of audience, it carries a huge number of conversions. Livestreaming works best in getting a closer connection with their audience. Having fewer viewers provides better interaction, a more personal one. It provides a closer relationship with its viewers, especially to their loyal followers.