Learn how to distinguish between webinars and webcasts.

New to the world of video events? Using video formats like webinars and webcasts is a fantastic way to communicate information in a convenient, accessible and engaging fashion. Video content’s so good that Vidyard predicts video formats, like webinars and webcasts, will account for almost 82% of all internet traffic by 2021.

“Video content will account for more than 82% of the internet by 2022”


So, Where Do You Start?

Well, understanding the difference between a webinar and a webcast is as good a place as any… The thing is, the terms webinars and webcasts are sometimes used interchangeably and that’s why we often refer to webcasts as ‘live event streams’.

1. Definitions

Firstly, a Webinar is an : “online, slide-based presentation that allows several hosts in different locations to discuss a topic over the internet to an online audience”

In comparison, a Webcast: “involves an on-site camera crew live-streaming a physical event where presenters are speaking on-stage.”

2. What Do They Look Like?




conference streaming

As you can see, webinars are mainly slide-based presentations where the audience can’t see people presenting the content.

From the video, you can clearly see that webcasts involve a camera crew filming the speakers on-site at an event.

3. What Are The Differences?

  • Webinar content is often pre-recorded whereby webcasts usually tend not to be, due to the physical event taking place with a live audience.

  • Webinars are solely slide based presentations, with some use of webcams. Webcasts focus on the recording and streaming of a live speaker either at an event or as a specific video message.

  • As well as an online audience, webcasts often have a physical audience but webinars typically only have an online viewers.

  • Webinar content is often pre-recorded, whereby webcasts usually tend not to be, due to the physical event taking place with a live audience.

4. What Are The Similarities?

  • Both formats are great for increasing engagement with your brand, generating leads, driving revenue growth and uncovering consumer insight.

  • Both webinars and webcasts allow individuals to attend events online, rather than in-person

  • Webinars and webcasts can include live interactive polls, surveys and audience questions.

  • The hosts can be located anywhere in the world providing they have an internet connection, and don’t even have to be in the same location as each other.

  • Webinars and webcasts can include live interactive polls, surveys and audience questions.

5. What Are They Used For?

By this point, you’re probably wondering what webinars and webcasts are actually used for? Both webinars and webcasts serve a number of purposes. They’re pretty darn versatile.

Here are just a few examples of how our clients have used webinars and webcasts:

  • Lead Generation

  • Product Launches and Demonstrations

  • Internal Communications

  • Panel Discussions

  • Conference Streaming

  • Employee and Customer Training

  • Video Podcasts and Interviews

  • Marketing and Lead Generation Events

  • Member / Client Communications

6. Webinars And Webcasts In Action

V Group Internal Communications Case Study

V.Group, a leading global marine service provider, used streamGo’s managed webinars to deliver important internal updates to their workforce on marine vessels all over the world.

Previously, V.Group had been relying on a more basic solution for their internal communications strategy. Moving from a simple conference call to webinars has been a great success for V.Group.

Find out more how V.Group used webinars.


Pentland run an extensive internal communications strategy for their employees which contributes to them being named one of the 10 best places to work in the UK.

A key part of their internal engagement calendar is when they host quarterly webcasts from their C-level execs at head office to over 20 global offices around the globe.

Find out more how Pentland used webcasts.

7. Summary Table

As you’ve probably noticed, webinars and webcasts share a few similarities and differences. We thought it would be handy to arrange all the important ones into a neat little table.

Webinar vs Webcast Summary

And there you have it. We hope you found this short article useful. If you’d like to see the streamGo platform in action request a demo. We’d love to chat with you about webinars and webcasts.

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