Webcasting around the World
A webcast may by roughly defined as the process of publishing media content like video or audio of both on the Internet at specific “streaming locations”. The term “webcast” may itself be regarding as comprising of two words: “WEB” and “broadCAST”. The term “streaming locations” here, refers to a web based service/location that allows media content to be near instantaneously delivered to the end user as and when the content itself is created.
As the definition itself indicates, major media broadcasting companies all over the world already have a webcast of their own. These include major radio and TV stations. The technology used is cheap in itself as virtually anybody with a broadband connection is a potential viewer/receiver. This advantage over traditional technologies has allowed independent and smaller publishing companies to flourish using the web.
Companies may also webcast important meetings for interested employees or stakeholders to see. Non-profit organizations webcast seminars held to reach a wide audience all around the world to promote themselves and their work.
Many people also use webcasting technologies for personal use, webcasting events like birthdays, weddings, etc live over the Internet so that friends and family members who were unable to attend the event may virtually do so, by simply using their Internet connection. Colleges broadcast important (as well as day to day mundane) events for all to see. A good example would be a live college sports meet webcasted for parents who cannot or are unable physically attend the event.
One of the important major webcasting forums in the world is YouTube. Though most of the content is not live, nonetheless, YouTube does occasionally tie up with media houses to get exclusive rights to webcast popular events. There have been many instances of sports events, charitable events or concerts webcasted live by YouTube.
The future for webcasting production remains bright with more people getting access to broadband Internet. Broadband itself is becoming cheaper as technologies become less costly and more efficient. Internet penetration is increasing in many developing and underdeveloped countries. The advent of webcasting technologies integrated within the hardware and software of many electronic devices like cameras, camcorders and mobile phones will only add to the already existing content. Many of these devices offer a “direct post to YouTube” or other similar feature which allows content to be webcasted as and when it is generated.
In summary, the webcasting model is cheap and easy to use and commercial opportunities are always present. The use of webcasting will only increase in the future.