Townhall meetings. Important company-wide announcements. Employee training programs. Webcasting has taken charge of all such events and more in these turbulent times of the pandemic with top webcasting software coming to your rescue.
From marketing to corporate streaming to investor relations, webcasting has allowed businesses to stay connected with their stakeholders worldwide.
The increased usage of this form of communication is apparent by the fact that Grand View Research has projected the online events industry to grow from $78 billion to a massive $774 billion. Suffice it to say, it is being widely adopted.
If you are an organization wanting to hold a live webcast event, it is critical to choose a tool based on your specific requirements. Some important requirements are:
Quality of the stream
Live Mixing capabilities
Based on the scale and quality required from a solution, you can either opt for an enterprise-grade webcasting software or go for a simpler webcasting solution.
Let us first explore an efficient enterprise-grade webcasting solution that fulfills all these criteria according to a variety of company needs.
So, What is Webcasting?
The simplest way to define a live webcast is:
Web + Broadcasting = Webcasting
Similar to live streaming, webcasting is defined as a live video stream captured and broadcasted online via internet in real-time. In this sense, it is a live broadcast streamed over the web to a global audience.
However, your event experience is as good as the webcasting software you use. Which is why it is of utmost importance to choose a platform that best serves your needs.
Learn More: What is a Webcast? | The Nuts and Bolts
Let Us Now Move Onto to the List of Best Software for Webcasting
VIDIZMO - An Enhanced Enterprise Webcasting Software
VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube is an enterprise video platform that allows enterprises to conduct high-quality webcasts catering to thousands of viewers and even more while ensuring low latency and high video quality.
VIDIZMO’s webcast solution provides you with the following capabilities:
Schedule Webcast & Open Pre-Registration
You can schedule your webcast for a future date and even set it as a recurring event. Go a step further to allow users to pre-register for the live event before time.
You can even integrate with MS Teams to utilize their event registration capabilities. With MS Teams Integration, you will even be able to track all the registrations and make arrangements accordingly.
The registration process is also secured by the SSO and IAM integration provided by VIDIZMO and you can even put in place 2-factor authentication.
VIDIZMO flexibly gives you the option to choose an encoding tool that best fits your needs for the event. You can either go for a software-based tool like Camtasia, OBS, Wirecast and Telestream or a hardware-based tool like Tricaster and Winnov Cbox.
You can integrate Zoom, MS Teams, Cisco Webex, or a similar video conferencing tool with VIDIZMO for webcasting on the video platform. This will provide you with better security, access controls, recording management and the ability to create an interactive live stream monitored through engagement analytics.
No Buffering or Compatibility Problems
Your live stream is transcoded into multiple formats to ensure playback on all devices, browsers, and bandwidth conditions.
These videos are streamed in adaptive streaming protocols like HLS, HDS, and smooth streaming to ensure that viewers are delivered the best possible viewing experience.
Learn More About How VIDIZMO Improves Video Delivery and Solves Bandwidth Challenges.
White-Label Platform - Brand to Your Liking
VIDIZMO is a white-label video platform. You can bring your own flair to the event by branding your video portal and player the way you like while adhering to your branding guidelines. From colors, fonts and logos to language and domain, you can customize it all to your liking.
Mixing and Editing
Encoding software like Wirecast also allows you to jump between multiple sources and screens like different cameras, videos, presentations, audio, image insertion, etc.
All this ensures a much better experience for your live stream, particularly useful for webcasting large-scale conferences and events. It also ensures a better viewer experience with multiple types of videos making your live webcast more engaging.
Reach a Global Audience
VIDIZMO provides you with the option to use highly scalable (virtually no limit to the number of viewers supported by VIDIZMO) and reliable CDNs to ensure smooth global delivery. CDNs ensure reduced buffering and counter bandwidth issues faced by various viewers by caching and pulling the stream from the nearest server.
VIDIZMO's multilingual platform is accessible in 40 languages. Plus, it supports automatic transcription in around 40 languages and their translation in more than 50 languages, with support for multilingual transcription for content with up to 4 spoken languages.
You can also edit these machine-generated transcripts to ensure 100% accuracy or even choose to upload transcript manually if you prefer that.
Enterprise-Grade Privacy and Security
VIDIZMO is an enterprise video content management with security and privacy at the forefront of its capabilities through features, including SSO & IAM integration with SCIM support, end-to-end encryption, role-based access controls, content segregation, and much more.
You also have secure sharing options for internal or restricted live streaming within an organization. You can create multiple channels and limit the live stream’s access to certain users or groups. By storing and managing data in environments of leading cloud providers, you can ensure compliance requirements such as HIPAA, GDPR etc.
On-Premise Live Webcast
For organizations that have their on-premise data center and would prefer streaming their webcasts on their on-premise network, VIDIZMO offers an on-premise live streaming option as well. VIDIZMO also provides eCDN caching for internal viewers behind the firewall.
Backup Live Stream
There is an option for you to create multiple redundant streams to ensure a swift backup in case your main live stream is disrupted. This transition, in case of a failure, happens automatically to ensure that the viewer doesn’t notice it.
There is Live Chat and Q&A functionality available for viewers to make comments and ask questions during the webcast. You can also integrate your social media feeds in your live stream from your Twitter or Yammer feed.
Moreover, you can easily place quizzes to test viewer comprehension and attention, handouts to provide supplementary information, and surveys or polls to collect feedback or encourage further engagement in your live streams. View quiz and survey reports to check how many viewers attempted and how they answered.
Viewers joining in late can rewind or jump to portions that they have missed from the webcast.
Recording and Content Management
A capability offered is for you to record your live stream and automatically post them on your VIDIZMO internal or external YouTube-like portal with the required access controls (restrict it within the organization or certain groups or individuals) and security measures (like blocking download, sharing, etc.) in place.
Once recorded, you can configure VIDIZMO to create an archival portal where the webinar can be archived. You can even set a custom retention period after which the recording can be disposed of.
VIDIZMO also does way more than just webcasting for enterprises. VIDIZMO is an AI-powered end-to-end enterprise video streaming and management platform. You can securely store, centrally search, control access, analyze, and share all your videos including your recorded live streams.
All this is to say that, with VIDIZMO, you can utilize your recorded webcasts as readily playable on-demand assets for knowledge management and other purposes.
VIDIZMO enabled XcitED, one of the biggest EdTech startup gatherings held every year, to live stream globally to about 1000 industry leaders with more than 300 registered startups in the audience - Read more on this story
Other Basic Webcast Software Alternatives
If your business, however, is not looking for enterprise-grade high-quality webcasting software, let us introduce some other basic webcast solutions that are perfect for small-scale solutions. The benefit here is that they are easy to use – often offering one-click webcasting. But these fall short when it comes to security, or solving bandwidth and compatibility challenges. You can’t add a video (say an advertisement) to the webcast, or stream from multiple cameras. Some of these don’t offer live DVR, a functionality to allow viewers to rewind if they join in late.
Other than video conferencing, Zoom also has a webinar solution that allows up to 1,000 panelists and maximum view-only 10,000 attendees in its premium plan. Panelists can talk amongst each other and share screen, video, or audio.
There is chat and question functionality available for the attendees to participate in the webinar. You can allow attendees to pre-register by sending out invitations via email. It is possible to brand your webinar’s registration page.
However, Zoom security is still far weaker when compared to the requirements of enterprises. The limit on the number of attendees is also a massive hindrance for large-scale events. It is also not possible for your live stream to be transcoded.
Based on certain reviews on TrustRadius, users watching the webcast have faced issues on certain devices and low bandwidth conditions. This is a downside of Zoom as it does not transcode the video into multiple renditions.
It is far better to use VIDIZMO’s Zoom integration to live stream in a much more secure environment utilizing VIDIZMO’s transcoding capabilities. VIDIZMO robust HTML5 live video player allows for a higher quality disruption-free experience with various interactivity options.
Cisco WebEx is also a video conferencing software that stepped into the arena of webcasting. It has a reasonably good solution to achieve basic capabilities. The tool allows for screen sharing and in-app voice listening. You can have up to 100,000 live viewers in the premium plan.
However, most plans cater to small-scale webinars. This solution is well-known for its advanced follow-up analytics. The paid plan allows an unlimited number of meetings. Similar to Zoom, VIDIZMO can also integrate with VIDIZMO for an enhanced enterprise-grade experience.
On G2, users have complained in reviews that the webinars on Cisco Webex are not optimized for low bandwidths and consume a lot of data. This is mainly because of the lack of transcoding in Cisco Webex and limited video delivery capabilities (CDNs, WANop etc.).
GoToWebinar webcasting solution, GoToWebcast, is known for its ease of use due to its user-friendly interface and multiple tutorials for quick walkthroughs. This solution also allows for real-time screen sharing.
There is also an annotation functionality to point out important phrases. Invite participants through email right from your application.
However, the webcast software only allows up to 1,000 participants. There is no web app for this software, which requires you to use Java. It also does not support mobile or tablet devices for streaming.
Similar to Zoom, Go-to-Webinar users also face issues in low bandwidth conditions as reported by reviews on TrustRadius. This is due to a lack of transcoding and optimized video delivery through a CDN, which an enterprise-grade live streaming platform offers.
How to Use Webcast?
Webcasts are basically offline events brought online - a one-to-many form of communication that is accessible to as big an audience as you desire (obviously with the right tools!).
Here are some main use cases of Webcasts:
Live Parliament Sessions
Public has the right to know and public live viewing of parliament sessions and city council meetings is very much possible.
With the right webcasting software, you can even have these webcasts embedded on the relevant government sites. You can even record and have them available for future on-demand viewing.
Inter-Office All Hands Meeting
Securely live webcast your company's all-hands meetings keeping your global teams informed and up-to-date while ensuring their inclusivity.
Church Gatherings & Other Religious Services
Stream live church congregations to unlimited followers for Sunday services, church meetings, weddings, funerals, etc.
It might sound a bit out of place; but with the digitalization of healthcare, there are a lot of webcasting use cases even in the domain of healthcare.
You can webcast emergency announcements, medical events, and patient education seminars among other things.
Suffice it to say, if your organization is looking for a high-quality, secure webcasting solution that allows for global reach, then an enterprise-grade solution like VIDIZMO is your best bet.
However, if you are just looking to hold small-scale webcasts with low-security requirements, you can opt for one of the other basic webcasting solutions. The key is to understand your organizational requirements to make a suitable choice.