What is the Difference between a Webinar and a Webcast?

By Team Writer - Published on December 30, 2020
webcast vs webinar

The days have long gone when meetings and seminars were held in auditoriums and conference rooms only. The more advanced digital age now has revolutionized everything. With advancements in technology, there have arrived tons of tools that are bringing information’s treasure trove at our fingertips.

With this, now you can have multiple ways to spread your words and let people hear your message clearer and louder. Technology has revolutionized the way we used to conduct business conferences and meetings, and the best examples of this are webcasts and webinars.

What is a Webinar?

The Webinar is a web-based meeting or seminar that can take over the internet without any geological boundaries or time zone. Webinars are more collaborative as compared to webcasts.

However, these are more often designed for smaller groups, from meeting-sized to a group that involves hundreds of people. Webinars also involve options available with online meetings, including white-board and markup abilities, polls, and Q&A.

(Also Read: What is a Webinar & How Does it Work?)

What is a Webcast?

The webcast is typically an expensive option to hold online meetings and conferences via any webcast platform. A webcast is an entirely one-way presentation from presenter to attendees.

Webcasts are primarily based on the video to user models, just like a television show. Webcasts can handle thousands of people. Overall, the webcast is an audiovisual experience aimed at a larger audience.

Once you have understood the Webinar vs. webcast definition here, now it is time to know more about different aspects of a webcast vs. Webinar.

Webcast vs. Webinar: Understand the differences between webcast and Webinar:

Do you want to know more about Webinar vs. webcast to understand things more effectively in this regard? Let’s have a look at the different aspects of Webinar vs. webcast given below.

  • Features

    Modern forms of both Webinar and webcasts are based on effective WebRTC platforms. However, when it is about Webinar vs. webcast features, then the format of each online presentation is different markedly.

    WebRTC contains real-time communication standards meant to make real-time communication possible and power browser-based webinars and webcasts. These are the same at their cores.

    In the overall comparison of a webinar and a webcast, you will realize that webinars are usually feature-filled compared to webcasts from the perspective of features. Attendees of webinars can have an active application presenter. While webcast tools more often have bare-minimum features due to their less collaborative nature.

  • Implementation

    There is a difference between how both webinars and webcasts are used and implemented. A webinar is commonly more focused on providing necessary information while engaging the attendees. Webinars usually have polls, Q&A sessions, file sharing, and screen sharing, along with a presentation to provide more in-depth and comprehensive information.

    Webcast presentations are different from webinars. These are usually based on the flow of information in one direction, focusing on what is being described by the presenter. A few essential aids, such as slides, are being used in webcasts.

  • Audience Size and Make-Up

    Webcasts are made for a larger audience of up to thousands of people typically. The numbers can be massive in the case of webcasts if it is a popular one. The webcast is more like one-way communication where attendees have to access footage only.

    However, in the case of a Webinar, it will be an interactive meeting or discussion; therefore, the number of attendees is limited and ranges from the smaller-meeting attendees to a few hundred only max.

    When it is about webcast vs. Webinar in terms of makeup, webinars have an online audience only. At the same time, the webcast audience is made up of in-studio, online, and live audiences.

    Webinar banner

  • Interaction Levels

    The difference between webcast and Webinar in terms of interaction levels is pretty apparent. Because webcasts don’t have any form of interaction with the audience at all, the presenter of a webcast will share information, and the audience is going to take it in, that’s all.

    Webinars are collaborative and highly interactive, as well. The sharing of information and participation of the audience is inherent in webinars.

  • Purpose

    Both webcasts and webinars are meant to share information with their participants. A webinar is usually many-to-many interaction and can also discuss specific ideas among a team or group. A webcast is a one-to-many form of sharing information without any interaction from the audience.

  • Forms of communication

    Forms of communication for both of these options are different remarkably. These are beyond the technology of Webinar and webcast.

    For example, when it is about webcast vs. Webinar, webinars are meant to be more collaborative and provide a more interactive virtual meeting environment. Therefore, to make it possible, advanced webinar tools offer screen-sharing, text chat, or file-sharing abilities to make the meeting more collaborative. These can be some of the best options to consider as effective forms of communication in webinars.

    While on the other hand, webcasts are generally designed to concentrate on one presentation only. Therefore, webcast tools usually don’t offer the interactive communication features that you can get in webinar tools more often.

    However, you can have some basic slide sharing features here to communicate with the audience more effectively.

Webcast vs. Webinar: Pros and Cons

Let’s look at the pros and cons of webinars vs. webcasts.

WEBINARS

Pros

  • Webinars are usually highly collaborative and intimate.
  • These come up with better control over the conference or meeting environment.
  • Highly effective for information sharing or discussions.
  • Two-way communication is possible here.
  • Offers more flexibility than webcasts.

Cons

  • A limited number of attendees
  • Repeatability limitations
  • Internet disruptions can impact webinars negatively.

WEBCAST

Pros

  • Enhanced repeatability
  • More shareable
  • Easier access
  • Internet disruption won’t affect a webcast at a high level.
  • Scheduling is not necessary.
  • A larger number of attendees

Cons

  • Poor collaboration
  • Unavailability of real-time file or screen sharing
  • Lower flexibility

Webcast Vs. Webinar: Which Should You Use?

The webcast is preferable when:

  • Your goal is to spread your message to a larger audience.
  • You don’t need your attendees to contribute to the presentation.

A webinar can be best to consider when:

  • You need to hold a collaborative meeting.
  • Real-time interaction is needed.
  • You want to communicate with a smaller group of audience.

Final Thoughts

Both Webinar and webcasts contain their purposes, strengths, and drawbacks as well. However, the information mentioned above has given you a clearer idea about webcast vs. Webinar. Now you can easily make a better decision regarding which option is more suitable for you.

Team Writer

Team Writer | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

Team Writer

Team Writer | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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