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The Future of Webcasting

  
  
  

Introduction

From recruiting and training, to lead gen, product launches and thought leadership, webcasting technologies can be used internally and externally for a variety of communications purposes. I am commonly asked about the shift we are seeing in content consumption, and what may happen to webcasting and popular online video and presentation services.

My response is these services need to adapt to the way that users consume content, and shift away from broadcasting static messages without two-way dialogue. We live in an age where video and social interaction are king, and the future of webcasting lies in incorporating those tools directly into platforms so that constituents can engage with content and each other effectively. In short, interaction has replaced consumption.

An Overview of the Market

Let’s take a look at some popular tools for webcasting and video streaming.

GoToMeeting and WebEx

Online meeting technologies such as GoToMeeting and WebEx are great for small audiences to gather and participate in moment-in-time discussions. But what about when you want your audience to participate live in a non-disruptive way, or need to facilitate an ongoing discussion through multiple meetings?

With these tools, there is no way to coalesce a series of presentations as part of a continuing program and publish them in a single location, host large numbers of multiple participants effectively, or engage with the audience before or after a particular meeting. The future of webcasting lies in reinventing online meetings by providing a single and branded destination to socialize and engage with audiences and program content before, during and after a presentation.

YouTube

While many companies are creating YouTube channels for business, broadcasts on this social medium rarely consist of live content and are most frequently used for external communications. YouTube is public and not secure, you cannot brand it and you cannot measure it. Because it is based on an on-demand viewing structure, there is no ability to have live dialogue between the broadcaster and the audience. You’re limited to static comments.

The future of webcasting will couple the power to broadcast with live social elements, providing the opportunity to host a live chat between audience members, ask a question of the program host, or participate in surveys and polls during the broadcast, all within a single, branded, and private online destination.

LiveStream and UStream

Sites such as LiveStream and UStream are event-focused and suffer from limited branding and measurement capabilities. They also lack the ability to encourage interactive dialogue. These tools are used primarily for streaming video, are difficult to secure, and lack custom branding options.

Just as with YouTube, the future of webcasting services like these will couple video with live social elements, encouraging secure interaction through live chats between audience members, the ability to ask a question of the program host, or participate in surveys and polls, all within a single, branded Web presence.

Conclusion

Let me let you in on a little secret: The future of webcasting is already here, and it lies in Social Business Software. By combining the benefits of traditional video broadcasting and webcasting mediums with the power of social media tools, brands of all sizes can interact with prospects, employees, customers and partners in a social environment that creates two-way dialogue and measures the impact of the communication.

Social Business Broadcasting couples the power of broadcast and webcasting with social business, enabling new forms of two-way business interaction with target audiences. The old school days of webcasting are over, and it’s time to get into the new school ways of broadcasting business messages effectively.

What are your thoughts on the future of webcasting? Do you agree that we’ve arrived?

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