In this paper, we present a detailed overview of StrandCast, an application-layer multicast protocol for stretch invariant applications. StrandCast’s distribution topology is a linear list of participating receivers, which we call a strand. We describe three benefits that StrandCast has over traditional application-layer multicast topologies. The first is low and constant stress levels. The second is fast join and leave operations. The third benefit is a semireliable transmission scheme that makes long strands practical for very large groups of receivers. We also discuss various stretch invariant applications for which StrandCast is most suitable, including systems that utilize receiver-driven layered multicast for scalable congestion control.