Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. "Streaming" was applied in the early 1990s as a better description for video on demand on IP networks; at the time such video was usually referred to as "store and forward video", which was misleading nomenclature.Live streaming is the delivery of Internet content in real-time, as events happen, much as live television broadcasts its contents over the airwaves via a television signal. Live internet streaming requires a form of source media (e.g. a video camera, an audio interface, screen capture software), an encoder to digitize the content, a media publisher, and a content delivery network to distribute and deliver the content. Live streaming does not need to be recorded at the origination point, although it frequently is.
"Streaming" generally refers to the situation where a user watches digital video content or listens to digital audio content on a computer screen and speakers (ranging from a smartphone, through a desktop computer to a large-screen home entertainment system) over the Internet. With streaming content, the user does not have to download the entire digital video or digital audio file before they start to play it.Some popular streaming services are the video sharing website YouTube; Twitch and Mixer, which live stream the playing of video games; Netflix, which streams movies and TV shows; and Spotify and Apple Music, which stream music.The term "streaming" was first used for tape drives made by Data Electronics Inc. The term "streaming media" can apply to media other than video and audio such as live closed captioning, ticker tape, and real-time text, which are all considered "streaming text".