Live Streaming vs Broadcasting

What is the Difference between Live Streaming and Broadcasting

Live streaming and Broadcasting are sometimes used interchangeably; however, they both hold differences and today we will break down the same.

In simple terms, both technologies transmit data while targeting an audience. 

As its name suggests, live streaming takes place in real-time and allows a one-to-one conversation. People can respond and share their views during live streaming. This makes live streaming more interactive and engaging, and many brands use it to increase their user engagement.

Broadcasting is focused on transmitting information without letting people have a one-to-one conversation. Hence, people can’t share their opinion or respond while the broadcasting is happening; they can only listen to or watch the information.

Let’s discover more of their differences and understand these concepts in detail-

What Is Live Streaming?

What is Live Streaming

Live streaming is about broadcasting content in real time by using live video streaming services. During live streaming, a user receives a signal that is specifically for them. This means that the signal a viewer uses while viewing the live stream functions according to the capability of their device or the quality of its Internet connection.

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How Does Live Streaming Work?

How does Live Streaming Work

On the screen, live streaming seems straightforward where a content creator just needs to choose the platforms for live streaming and click the “live stream” button. 

Going further on how live streaming works, this is what happens behind the scenes:

  • Compression
  • Encoding
  • Segmentation
  • Content delivery network (CDN) distribution
  • CDN caching
  • Decoding
  • Video playback
  • Video capture

➡️ Compression

When starting the camera, the video begins to record in real-time; this is also the raw data since it doesn’t go through any kind of processing.

In the compression step, this data gets compressed which removes the redundancies and only renders the necessary frames.

For example, if the person’s background remains the same in the whole video, then it will not be rendered from frame to frame. Only the things that are changing will be rendered, such as a person’s mouth and body movements.

➡️ Encoding

“Encoding” prepares the content to be viewed in a digital format supported by multiple devices.

➡️ Segmentation

Videos occupy more space than images and texts, so they take more time to download. Segmentation divides the video into various segments or smaller parts to send the data conveniently over the Internet.

➡️ CDN Distribution And Caching

Once a live stream has gone through compressing, encoding, and segmentation steps, it becomes available for CDN distribution and caching.

Since millions across the globe can stream the video, companies or content creators need to deliver it with minimum lag. For the same, they use a streaming platform that utilizes the power of CDN, which provides the video instantly to the viewers.

CDN servers also cache the videos and store them temporarily so next time a user requests them, the request can be fulfilled in seconds.

➡️ Decoding And Video Playback

Once a user requests the video, the CDN delivers it using the nearest server to the user’s location. The video then gets decoded and decompressed and finally plays on the user’s device.

Types Of Live Streaming

Types of Live Streaming

1️⃣ In-Person

In-person live streaming refers to a physical setup of the venue, lights, camera, speakers, hosts, and presenters. The audience is, however, virtual and can stream from anywhere in the world.

2️⃣ Hybrid

This type is similar to in-person live streaming except that it also adds an audience to the venue. So, the audiences stay at the physical location as well as virtual.

In such a setup, more speakers and gadgets are required so the audience can listen to the presenter and see the visuals clearly.

3️⃣ Virtual

Virtual live streaming as its name implies, is completely virtual. A presenter can conduct it from anywhere, such as their office, home, and space. In such streaming, all hosts and presenters attend the show virtually from their own place. Such streaming is performed using software and Video Hosting Platforms.

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Advantages Of Live Streaming

Let’s now explore the advantages and disadvantages of live streaming.

➡️ Make An Effect On Your Audience

With live streaming, you can touch your audience’s hearts. Since people get to see their favorite creators in real-time via live streaming, they ensure to join streams more than streaming recorded videos.

➡️ Establish Trust

If your brand is relatively new in the market, you can benefit highly from live streaming. This is because when you live stream, you present yourself and the brand to your audience. The same helps them connect with you and establish stronger trust in you.

➡️ Keep It More Interactive

Since live streaming allows the audience and the presenter to interact in real-time, it enhances the overall engagement rate. People can communicate in real-time and get feedback instantly; this makes more people involved with the streaming and make the most out of it.

➡️ Get A Wider Reach

Since live streaming removes all geographical restrictions, you can present yourself worldwide. People that follow your brand in any region get notified about the live session.

➡️ Have More Earning Opportunities

Live streaming also provides you an opportunity to advertise your products. You might also conduct a live event and set an admission fee. For instance, if you are a musician with a decent range of followers, you can set up a live-streaming session to earn money.

Disadvantages Of Live Streaming

➡️ No Post-Shoot Editing

Since the conversation happens in real time, it leaves no room for mistakes or redos. However, there is also a benefit to it; viewers enjoy the human element prone to make mistakes and the bloopers.

Once you have prepared the setup and rechecked it, you should be doing fine with minor glitches or no glitches.

➡️ More Technical

Live streaming is more time-consuming and effort-requiring than normal video production. This is because there is no space for editing the video once it is streamed. It will be visible to all your viewers in real-time if something goes wrong.

➡️ Accessibility

Live streams break all geographical barriers and let worldwide audiences join. However, it might be difficult for viewers to connect due to time zones if their time zone vastly differs from yours. It might not always be possible to match up with the time difference of everyone. However you can record your live streams and upload them later, but accessibility is still an issue if you have an international audience.

What Is Broadcasting?

What Is Broadcasting

Just like streaming executes one-to-one delivery of video content, broadcasting provides one signal that goes to everyone. So instead of getting a separate signal, users share the single provided signal.

Other than videos, broadcasting also happens for audio, where all the listeners share one signal.

How Does Broadcasting Work?

How Does Broadcasting Work

To make the broadcasting work, users need to have an antenna that catches the specific frequency. Using this channel, users receive the information being broadcasted, whether video or audio.

Broadcasting utilizes electronic signals to send data to a broad audience. The content is first recorded and then broadcasted or transmitted using various mediums like the Internet, cable, and satellite.

The viewers then receive these signals on their TV or radio through the antennas and transmitters installed at their place.

Just like the quality of live streaming depends on the speed of the Internet connection, the quality of broadcasting depends on the strength of the antenna.

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Types Of Broadcasting

Types Of Broadcasting

Various kinds of broadcasting depend on the content type, the channel used, and the audience targeted. Let’s get to know the majority of the broadcasting types.

1️⃣ Radio Broadcasting:

As the name implies, this broadcasting is used for audio-only through the radio waves.

2️⃣ Television Broadcasting:

This broadcasting is used for video content using radio waves where the content is captured on television.

3️⃣ Satellite Broadcasting:

This broadcasting uses satellite transmission, where satellite receivers receive the content.

4️⃣ Cable Broadcasting:

This broadcasting is provided by TV cable companies to people who utilize subscription models for their TV shows, movies, and more.

5️⃣ Internet Broadcasting

Internet broadcasting uses the Internet, where anyone having a data connection in their phone can access the content. Live broadcasting is also a part of Internet broadcasting on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

6️⃣ Podcasting:

Podcasting focuses on transmitting the audio to the listeners who subscribe to the service. Also, many Podcast creators let their listeners access the podcasts free of cost.

7️⃣ Mobile Broadcasting

Broadcasting that uses mobile networks is mobile broadcasting; it provides both audio and video.

8️⃣ Public Broadcasting

When the Government funds broadcasting for education or information purposes, it comes under public broadcasting.

9️⃣ Commercial Broadcasting:

This broadcasting generates revenue through advertisements while providing information to the users.

🔟 Narrowcasting

When some information is limited to specific audiences, such as in campuses, hotels, or corporates, it is called narrowcasting.

Advantages Of Broadcasting

  • The broadcasted content has a high influence over the audience.
  • It covers more local audiences.
  • A message can be broadcasted immediately.
  • There is no fixed schedule; users can request the content on demand.
  • It can be used to monetize the content and earn money.
  • You can limit your content and protect it using passwords.

Disadvantages Of Broadcasting

  • Broadcasting can influence people’s minds negatively with its information.
  • Not every business can afford broadcasting for their marketing.
  • It is more easily accessible to educated people where they use it for their work or entertainment.
  • Broadcasting brings shows and movies with adult comedy and offensive language, which can make young minds do the same. 
  • The quality of broadcasting gets affected by the conditions of weather.

Live Streaming Vs. Broadcasting: Key Differences

live streaming vs brodacasting key differences

Let’s get to know the differences between live streaming and broadcasting in different aspects.

➡️ Audience Coverage

Since broadcasting is a way older concept than live streaming, it has established a stable audience base over the years. There are some things that people prefer watching on a TV broadcast rather than streaming it; cricket is such an example.

➡️ Engagement

When it comes to engagement, live streaming has more fans. The reason is simple; live streaming establishes a one-to-one connection, giving users a deeper sense of connectivity.

Instead of just watching the content, users can comment, react, and even be called by the presenter.

➡️ Budget Effectiveness

Here also, live streaming wins because it is much more pocket-friendly than broadcasting. Live streaming just needs a phone and data connection. Broadcasting, however, needs heavy and expensive equipment.

➡️ Restrictions

Live streaming is way less restrictive than broadcasting. Many geographical rules apply in broadcasting, and accordingly, the media gets broadcasted.

People can live stream from anywhere and watch these streams from anywhere. For example, follow an influencer on Instagram, and they start a live stream. You can become its part irrespective of location and without installing expensive software or equipment.


On the note of what is the difference between broadcast and streaming, both broadcasting and live streaming are used to transmit content. However, the differences lie in the mediums and technology they use and the audience these two techniques target.

Both broadcasting and live streaming are useful for brands; using any of them depends on your budget, target audience, and the kind of transmission you want. Individual creators can perform better with live streaming, whereas more prominent brands can use broadcasting or both.

Live Streaming


What is the difference between live streaming and live broadcasting?

Both technologies send a live event to their audience; however, live broadcasting doesn’t include any interaction with the audience. In live streaming, creators/brands can receive reactions from their fans through likes, comments, emojis, etc.

Is a live stream a broadcast?

In live streaming, separate signals are sent to different viewers. In broadcasting, one signal is received by different viewers.

Is live broadcast really live?

Yes, live broadcasting is live with a delay of a few seconds. However, it also depends on the show type; some shows can be pre-recorded and then scheduled for broadcasting later.

What is the purpose of live streaming?

Live streaming is the ability to connect to your fans in real time. Creators can live stream and invite their audience to share any events, webinars, conferences, concerts, or just face-to-face communication.

Which is the best live streaming platform?

2. VPlayed
3. OnTheFly
4. Be.Live
5. Onestream
6. Livepush

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