Streaming video is 25 years old today

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Streaming video is 25 years old today

And it has a Dutch history

Groningen, November 4, 2019 – The very first live video broadcast on the internet in the world, came from the Netherlands, today exactly 25 years ago. This is the subject of a rockumentary by the filmmakers Alex Pitstra and Koen de Koning. The film can be watched today at

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 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” and Roll: 1994

The film “Ready Set Rock” n Roll gives a glimpse 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 Kok I Cabinet, Mitterrand, Mandela and, eh Wet Wet Wet.

Kids with a modem

And there was a bunch 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 broadcast live broadcast.

Why did this happen in Groningen?

More than a third of the inhabitants 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 came to connect everything: music, video, publicity and the internet.

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.

Rock city?

It is a bit of a shame that the rock culture in the background has disappeared in a city that once called itself Rock City.

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. Will we ever find out?

The film Ready Set, Rock and Roll can be watched today at

Note for the press:

Publish the movie

The film is made available under the Creative Commons license. We hope that the film inspires other people to start pioneering themselves. That you can achieve everything, if you want. And sometimes a crazy idea is enough, as long as you are crazy enough to do it. That is why we encourage the media to publish and promote the film. Put the video on your website, broadcast it. It’s allowed.

Contact us for the download link to the hi-res version, and let us know where and when you will publish the film. Contact: / +31508003311