- press release
Streaming video is 25 years old
And it has a Dutch history
Groningen, October 2019 – The very first live video broadcast on the internet in the world came from the Netherlands. This is the subject of a short documentary ‘Ready Set, Rock ‘n Roll’ by filmmakers Alex Pitstra and Koen de Koning, which will of course be streamed via the internet.
Streaming is popular
Netflix, HBO, Youtube, Instagram stories: streaming video is very popular. There are now more subscriptions to video services than to digital television. With your smartphone you can broadcast live with 1 click. But long before companies like YouTube started, the Netherlands was already experimenting with streaming video.
The first live broadcast ever
On November 4, 1994, a rock concert was broadcast live from the Simplon pop stage in Groningen. The image quality was quite poor and there were only four viewers, but it was the first live video broadcast on the Internet in the world, as far as can be traced.
“Ready Set, Rock ‘n Roll”: 1994
The short film “Ready Set Rock ‘n Roll” provides an insight into the rock music and creative scene of Groningen in 1994. Nirvana and Pearl Jam were popular. Windows 95 did not exist yet. Internet was really in its infancy. Movies? Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and Natural Born Killers. It was the time of the Kok I cabinet, Mitterrand, Mandela and Wet Wet Wet.
Kids with a modem
And there was a couple of guys without a budget but with a wild plan, a computer and a modem. Rudo de Jong, Gerad Harens and Stef van der Ziel did something that was reserved for large satellite companies and broadcasters with large budgets: a worldwide live broadcast.
Why did this happen in Groningen?
More than a third of the people of the city of Groningen are students. In the 1990s, many students played in bands, in the many bars and venues without closing times. Music was played until deep in the night.
The Groningen music scene attracted other creative minds. They did photography, video editing and designing. A Do It Yourself mentality emerged, to develop new creative resources as a community. They pioneered with limited resources with computers and the Internet, and that is how the idea of connecting everything came together: music, video, publicity and the Internet.
From broadcast to internet company
The quality of that very first broadcast might not have been that good. But a seed was planted. One of the first successful internet companies in Groningen emerged from that very first live broadcast: streaming company Jet-Stream serves European broadcasters, publishers, sports clubs and brands with professional streaming services from Groningen. The company listed twice in the Deloitte Fast50, the benchmark for fastest growing technology companies in the Netherlands.
Digital city in 2019
Nowadays Groningen is still that young city, with many more international students, and a very well-functioning digital industry. From a national and European perspective, Groningen performs much better when it comes to fast-growing internet companies. Think of Voys, Frank, Payt, Appwiki, Parkos, Nova, Belsimpel, Data provider, Simplicate and many others. The pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit is still doing well in Groningen.
Which band was it that was actually broadcast live on that Friday night of November 4 in 1994? They don’t know anymore, they were too focused on making that broadcast.
The film Ready Set, Rock ‘n Roll can be viewed free of charge on 25yearsstreaming.com from 2 November 2019
The film will premiere on 1 November 20:00 at the place where it all started: Simplon, Boterdiep 69 in Groningen.
Do you want to be there? A limited number of free admission tickets are available. You can request these tickets via firstname.lastname@example.org. Full is full!