That's something I can explain, as I had to learn that stuff for my profession. The foundation and the ideas of the "Landesmedienanstalten" are from quite a while ago, before the internet existed, back when frequencies for TV and radio programmes were rare (analogue cable could only have up to 31 channels, for example). It has multiple functions: Ensure that no illegal stuff (propaganda, etc.) is being broadcast to wider audiences. And take care of youth protection (for example, no movies ages 16 and up before 10pm, etc.) As frequencies were rare, it would be a mess if anyone could broadcast anything anywhere. Therefore they got the task from the government, to handle and hand out these frequencies. They regularly check all official TV and radio programs for content and also investigate when someone sends them an information about illegal content on one of the official programs. So the basic ideas should be clear: They have the task to make sure all broadcasts to wider audiences are without any illegal content and that youth protection is being kept. (I think that idea came from WW2, where Hitler used radio for propaganda). And the second task is to make sure the few frequencies available are being handed out evenly to prevent a frequency chaos and pirate stations. This all made sense before the internet (and youth protection and preventing illegal stuff still does, in my opinion). The frequencies are not rare anymore, especially not in the internet, so that doesn't make sense. However, to be able to control these "new medias" as well, they needed some new guidelines. That's where the "more than 500 technical viewers" rule came from, combined with the "journalistic" aspect. Which means: If more than 500 people can theoretically view the stream AND it has journalistic influence (by a commentator, editing, etc.), THEN you need a license. Less than 500 people are probably not big enough to make a big influence with propaganda. So you CAN broadcast for free if you limit the stream to 500 viewers OR if you just stream without any editing or commenting. If you do a live stream without commenting or editing anything, you don't need a license.