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Webcast & Webinar: The Real Difference

Webcast & Webinar: The Real Difference

People sometimes confuse the terms webcast and webinar, and even use them interchangeably. While similar in purpose and execution, there are some key differences to note. Read on for a quick breakdown of these two types of online events.


A webcast is typically a one-way flow of information, broadcast over the internet to a large audience. The audience does not usually contribute much to the content of the webcast, which might include an audio stream, presentation slides, or video clips.

When looking for a webcasting technology provider, capacity for handling a large number of viewers is essential. Connection support, experience, and the ability to work across a variety of webcasting platforms is also very important.

Webcasts can be used to extend the reach of traditional live events so virtual attendees can watch at home as well. (Sometimes, this is also called a livestream.) Productions that have both live and virtual components are known as hybrid events.

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The definition of a webinar, on the other hand, is an online interactive meeting or seminar. The content will likely be educational or training-based. The audience is typically smaller than a webcast and the audience often engages with the discussion via polling, Q&A, chat, gamification, or other collaborative means.

Webinar service providers should oversee all the audience engagement tools in addition to the basic coordination of the audio/video stream.

The following infographic from InterCall does a great job of outlining common distinctions between webcasts and webinars. If you’re still confused about these or other technology terms, visit our Audio Visual Glossary for definitions of everything AV from A to Z! 

Webcast vs. Webinar: What's the Difference?

Are you ready to plan a webcast, webinar, or other type of online event? We have 12 years of experience helping people like you produce engaging virtual events of all sizes. Reach out to us at any time!

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