Inventing streaming

In 1994 three men were sitting at a bar in Groningen, enjoying a beer. Whilst they were listening to the latest 90s grunge hits, they got a crazy idea: produce a livestream. The rest is history.

Scroll down for Jet-Stream’s innovative timeline from 1994 to today.

Ready Set Rock ‘n Roll (2019)

An award-winning film by Alex Pitstra and Koen de Koning.
Watch this award-winning documentary about how Jet-Stream pioneered streaming in 1994.
Includes footage from Nirvana, Pearl Jam and many other bands.
Read this blog post about producing the first webcast.
Streaming Nirvana, Pearl Jam, U2 and the Cure.


Jet-Stream founder Stef van der Ziel started to publish concert pictures, music and videos to the website he created for music venue Simplon, in the Netherlands.


On November 4, 1994 something incredible happened. The very first livestream in the world was produced in Simplon, Groningen. We turned Netscape Navigator into the first HTML video player by streaming a live feed of adaptive frame rate images inline in the browser. At that time nobody would have thought that it was the beginning of an era.

Streaming was invented in 1994 by Jet-Stream
Streaming Nirvana, Pearl Jam, U2 and the Cure.

1995 – 2001.

From Nirvana and U2 to Pearl Jam and The Cure. Back in the 90s Groningen had a big booming live music scene. It was the rock ‘n roll city of the Netherlands. From 1995 to 2001 we started to livestream European music festivals at multiple venues so that the rest of the world could watch too.


In 1996 more and more people got on the internet. People really liked the idea of watching livestreams. At a certain point our livestreams actually became so popular that they overloaded the internet. Whoops. Sorry again!

Eurosonic live streaming
The world's first CDN was built in 1997.


To prevent the internet from being overloaded by livestreams, it was time in 1997 to build the world’s first streaming CDN, in order to have a scalable distributed infrastructure of servers across multiple ISP’s, and bypass internet bottlenecks.


A nation-wide federated CDN platform was built, using our active load balancing method, and we helped deploy and operate the edges within numerous ISPs.

Federated CDN.
Broadband streaming.


Broadband was getting traction. Internet providers and publishers started to see the potential for online video and live tv. We helped them deploy streaming servers, encoders and monitoring services. We introduced full HD streaming, before it was introduced at cable tv, and mobile streaming too.


Jet-Stream was founded with the mission to scale and professionalize the web for streaming. And that is what we still do today, for some of the biggest publishing and broadcasting companies, enterprises and sports clubs in Europe.



The StreamZilla brand was launched: an integrated SaaS service that supported Real, QuickTime, 3GPP, Windows Media and Icecast streaming and offered unified statistics.


StreamZilla expanded into Europe, and quickly became the most popular European streaming provider.

Next generation mobile streaming was tested together with Apple, and was introduced in the European market by Jet-Stream.

Europe’s first OTT video streaming service launched on the Jet-Stream platform.

3GP streaming
Stroboscope flash video player


Jet-Stream added support for Flash video streaming and introduced ‘Stroboscope’, (flash, flash, flash!), an ultra fast Flash video player.

(11 years after our first stream,
YouTube was launched in 2005)

(13 years after our first stream,
Netflix started its first streaming steps in 2007)


Jet-Stream ranked #8 in the Deloitte Fast 50 with over 1800% growth.

Deloitte Fast 50
Codenamed VDO-X (Video Exchange)


In 2009, we started the development of our own streaming orchestration platform. Since 2009, Jet-Stream has won the Streaming Media Awards multiple times.


Jet-Stream released its brand new streaming orchestration platform: one unified cockpit and one API to manage and automate everything yourself. The number of customers doubled, while support hours were 50% down.

Streaming API and unified GUI
Licensed CDN


Jet-Stream Licensing was founded, licensing our our streaming management software to telecom operators.


Jet-Stream Academy educated telecom vendors and operators in streaming, CDN, business cases, use cases and workflows.

Streaming Academy
Ericsson MDN was 100% based on Jet-Stream's CDN technology.


Telco vendors started to ‘copy’ Jet-Stream technologies. Jet-Stream decided to stop licensing and focus on SaaS only: StreamZilla was merged into Jet-Stream.


Jet-Stream introduced Airflow: an integrated Multi CDN service. Multiple CDNs were integrated. Jet-Stream customers could now scale globally, and manage distribution per individual stream.

EBU Flow Multi CDN is 100% based upon Jet-Stream Airflow Multi CDN
Jet-Stream, Akamai, Cloudfront, Edgio, Edgecast, Lumen, Limelight, Stackpath, Leaseweb


Additional CDNs were added to the mix, giving customers more distribution options.


To celebrate 25 years streaming, Privacy Player was introduced. A free, unlimited video player, that contains no trackers, it shields your users and your data from third parties. Within 6 months, virtually all Jet-Stream customers switched to Privacy Player.

25 years streaming


Streaminar was founded as a spinoff. The application is an easy to use live streaming studio in your browser. Mix cameras, and stream to social networks.


Privacy Player Pro is released, a professional media player for the web and mobile devices, introducing Contextual Video Advertising, dynamic branding, 8K and 360° VR support, recommendation engine and 2-way interactivity.

Interactive video player. Branded video player.
Jet-Stream Cloud. The streaming cloud.


Jet-Stream Cloud is introduced. A European based streaming infrastructure, offering better data protection, 430% faster streaming, broadcast grade uptime, 8K support, advanced workflow automation tools, OnAir 4K live encoder, new realtime statistics, additional CDNs and much more. Jet-Stream gets a full rebranding as well.


StreamStats Pro adds realtime in-depth analysis of bit rates, status reports, view sessions, finer granular geographies and device data. The new MaelStrom transcoding service offers extreme availability, disruptive lower costs, and easy interfaces, both in the cloud and on-premises. Additional CDNs are added to Airflow Multi-CDN to deliver into even more remote regions of the world.

Interactive video player. Branded video player.

“Back in the 90s something incredible happened but almost nobody noticed it. And now we can’t avoid it. Can you imagine life without livestreaming?”

Nick Stevens, interviewer documentary ‘Ready Set Rock ‘n Roll’