The First Live Stream is 20 Years Old

The First Live Stream is 20 Years OldYes, you read that right. It may be hard to believe, but it has been 20 years since the first live stream made waves across the internet. In 1993, Xerox PARC was hosting a small show in Palo Alto when engineers who were in another room decided to test their new technology to broadcast on the internet. A band known as “Severe Tire Damage” was playing at the event, and almost by accident, their show became the first ever live streaming event. As explained by ‘Kickshuffle’, it was only a year later that the ‘Rolling Stones’ were live streaming their work as well.


Another of the first to enter the market of live streaming was a company known as ‘RealNetworks’, which was founded in 1995 by Microsoft executive Rob Glaser. This company was the first to broadcast a baseball game…one between the New York Yankees an the Seattle Mariners…in 1995. In 1997, RealNetwork was responsible for the launch of RealPlayer streaming video technology. It was Youtube who developed live streaming into a service which caters to users, allowing them to watch content which is being live streamed. The first YouTube live stream was in 2008. Live streaming has now made it possible for people to watch live concerts, television shows and more from the comfort of their own couches. Since then, live streaming has been used for so much more.


In 1998, the very first “wedcast” (a webcasted wedding) was performed between Dale Ficken and Lorrie Scarangella. Jerry Fadwell sat in his office in Lynchburg, VA and the couple were standing in a Pennsylvaia church. In 1999, NetAid was created to promote the use of the internet in third world countries. Three very high profile concerts were all live streamed over the internet, along with the BBC and MTV television networks.


Today’s world

In today’s world, live streaming is being done by both amateurs and huge companies. Businesses can conduct meetings, presentations, and seminars via live stream, allowing men and women from all over the world to sit in the same meeting at the same time without ever boarding a plane. Many websites, such as ‘GoToMeeting‘ now offer the public a forum in which they can conduct such meetings. Those who host sporting events, such as Wrestlemania, can bring in a great deal of profit by charging viewers to watch their live stream. Even NASA uses live streaming.


In 2009, NASA kicked off their first-ever Robotics Season with live streaming. NASA’s final shuttle launch was also featured on a live stream which was hosted by Playstation. When NASA’s Mars Rover crashed into a DMCA takedown, live stream was there to allow us to watch. We were even granted the ability to watch two lunar satellites crash into the moon, via live stream from NASA. Not bad for a twenty-year evolution of live streaming.