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Live Streaming vs Live Broadcasting: How Are They Different?

Now that content is king, the market has seen the emergence of various formats and technologies for delivering content to its viewers. Amongst them, live streaming and live broadcasting rule the roost.

The advent of the internet and the subsequent wave of online methodology have impacted the world beyond comprehension. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise you to discover how fast live streaming has become the preferred choice for both personal and professional communication. It would range from business meetings, product launches to conferences & educational events. In the modern context, viewing any live video is considered ‘live streaming’ though with some distinct differences between the specific processes. And today, even live broadcasting of videos is classified or generically described as live streaming videos.

But how are the two different? In plenty of ways and we will explain that in just a minute; first, let us get the basics out of the way.

  • Live streaming: A one-to-one experience, live streaming offers only some interactive functions, such as viewer comments, though these functions have no bearing on how the event being streamed plays out.
  • Live broadcasting: A one-to-many content viewing experience, live broadcasting is based on interactions between the streamer and the viewer, i.e. viewer participation tends to affect how the broadcast plays out.

Now that you know what live streaming and live broadcasting are as individual concepts, it is time to take a look at some of the key points of differences between them:

  • Reach: Reach, i.e. how many people view the content, is a critical consideration for any company in the business of content. Speaking strictly in terms of reach, live broadcasting wins this round, i.e. it has more reach, simply because it has been around much longer than live streaming. Perhaps the biggest example of its dominance is observed any time a live cricket match takes place: most people would still rather watch it on TV even when the option of live streaming the match is available.
  • Engagement: Live broadcasting, of course, has significantly better reach than live streaming. Yet, live streaming trumps in this context because live broadcasting is largely a form of one-way communication with a passive audience. On the other hand, there is live streaming which is highly interactive & engaging with the audience is as encouraged as feedback.
  • Cost: Yet another key point of consideration for companies in the context of content apps is cost. Simply put, live streaming costs significantly less than live broadcasting because the latter involves a whole array of typically-expensive equipment. For live streaming, one only needs a smartphone with an internet connection.
  • Viewing modes: The only similarity between live streaming and live broadcasting is that both kinds involve live content streamed via the internet. After that, their paths diverge, leading to differences in how people view and engage with the content. Live streaming apps, then, are meant to enable users across all geographies to watch the same content in real-time albeit with minimal or no scope for viewer participation. Whereas with live broadcasting, the content offers the scope for engagement with participation from people in real time.

While some may often confuse live streaming and live broadcasting as being the same concepts, the fact remains that they are indeed entirely different, as evidenced by the discussion above. It, then, becomes clear as day to see that both of them bring entirely different values and benefits to the table, making them both well-suited for distinctive requirements, business goals, target audiences, etc.

So, no matter if you are planning to build a live streaming app or one for live broadcasting, a careful evaluation of your business’s unique requirements should be the first step in the process. Then, you can always engage the services of a trusted vendor to help you build a live streaming app or a live broadcasting app for your business.

Written By

A professional and security-oriented programmer having more than 6 years of experience in designing, implementing, testing and supporting mobile apps developed. Being techno geek, I love to read & share about the latest updates in technology including but not limited to IoTs, AI, application development, etc. In my free time, I like to play football, watch movies and explore new places. I have been learning mobile app development since 2012. With having a good understanding of programming languages, I develop native as well as web apps for both iOS & Android using latest tools & technologies. I am also having experience in both front-end & back-end development.

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