A webcast is a large one-to-many live stream. Learn about the concept and what makes them unique. Explore the difference between webcasts and webinars.

What is a webcast?

A webcast is a live or pre-recorded broadcast of video content over the internet. It is a one-to-many event, meaning there are a few panelists and a large audience of attendees watching.

Webcasts are often used for large-scale events, such as product launches, conferences, or information sharing, and generally involve a one-way communication flow. Thus, attendees of webcasts are rather passive, focusing on consuming knowledge, rather than engaging and interacting.

What are the similarities between webcasts and webinars?

Webinars and webcasts are both events that take place online. Also, they both are designed to connect presenters with attendees that should learn new information.

Both webinars and webcasts are considered essential tools of any marketer's toolbox.

What is the difference between a webcast vs. webinar?

The difference of a webcast and a webinar is that, unlike webinars, webcasts typically have limited interaction between the presenter and the audience. Webcasts focus more on sharing information with a wider audience, and are generally larger.

Number of attendees

Webinars often have less than a 1,000 participants, whereas webcasts are more like a TV broadcast and can have up to 50,000 attendees watching.

Quality of production

Another difference between webcasts and webinars is the level of production quality.

Webcasts often have higher production quality, with professional lighting, microphones, and video equipment. This all ensures that the broadcast is of high quality.

Webinars, on the other hand, can be more casual and informal, with lower production values, using just a webcam and build in microphone.


Webcasts tend to be longer than webinars, lasting one or several hours. Some conferences might be full days of content, where pauses for lunch, exercise, and coffee are included in the schedule. Here it becomes important to have a clear and accessible agenda.

In contrast, webinars are typically shorter, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour, where a trend can be seen towards shorter, even 20 minutes long, webinars.

Production cost

Webcasts are often more expensive to produce than webinars, due to the higher production values and larger scale, where you might bring in a event firm, studio, or production company to help out with the production.

Webinars, on the other hand, can be produced relatively inexpensively, with tools like Univid making it easy to set up and host a webinar at a low cost.

The formats are blended

Today, the line between webcasts and webinars is blurred. Some webinars are higher value productions, using an in-house studio or event a production company. Other webinars see huge demand, and have over a 1000 attendees.

So, one single criteria cannot determine the format of the event - rather it is a combination of factors that decide.

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