Degree conferral ceremonies summer 2020 analytics data

Lewis Wake
Wednesday 12 August 2020

Between Monday 27 July 2020 and Friday 31 July 2020, nine degree conferral ceremony videos were premiered on the University website. This year we have been working in an extraordinary operating environment and we have had to innovate quickly to deliver the graduation experience in a new way while still sustaining prestige.

These streams were accessible via YouTube and were embedded on one page of the University website.

We also set up an alternative web page embedding each video hosted directly on University servers – primarily for users who have no access to YouTube, and for users encountering potential problems with the YouTube premieres.

After each ceremony had ended, each YouTube video’s privacy remained as ‘public’. The data in this blog post will only look at the engagement of these videos during the degree conferral week.

Number of graduating students

In total there were 1967 graduating students. This year was largely composed of students from the following countries:

USA, UK, China, Canada, Germany, France, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Italy, and India.

Page views of the ‘watch graduation live’ web page per country

The YouTube videos were embedded on the ‘watch graduation live‘ web page of the University website.

In total, the ‘watch graduation live’ web page had 5,401 unique page views over the five-day period.

The countries with the top ten unique page views are as follows:

Pie chart showing United Kingdom 59.1% of page views, United States with 25.2%
Country Unique page views
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 2,610
🇺🇸 United States 1,112
🇲🇾 Malaysia 119
🇨🇦 Canada 113
🇭🇰 Hong Kong 103
🇨🇳 China 93
🇮🇳 India 88
🇩🇪 Germany 67
🇲🇽 Mexico 58
🇫🇷 France 53

YouTube views per degree conferral ceremony

View counts of the nine degree conferral ceremonies were somewhat evenly distributed. In total, the YouTube videos had 8,319 views.

The majority of views occurred during the first ceremony and then dropped significantly for subsequent ceremonies.

Bar chart showing Monday PM views exceeding the rest
Country Views
Monday PM 2,155
Tuesday AM 1,158
Tuesday PM 780
Wednesday AM 910
Wednesday PM 883
Thursday AM 665
Thursday PM 751
Friday AM 508
Friday PM 509
Total 8,319

YouTube views per country

From the YouTube data, we can determine which parts of the world viewers were in when watching the degree conferral videos.

In total, the videos were viewed in 24 countries.

The top ten countries the ceremonies were viewed in are as follows:

Pie chart showing 77% of views were from the UK
Country Total playbacks
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 3,978
🇺🇸 United States 940
🇮🇳 India 79
🇮🇹 Italy 28
🇪🇸 Spain 25
🇬🇭 Ghana 25
🇲🇽 Mexico 25
🇨🇦 Canada 24
🇹🇷 Turkey 20
🇭🇰 Hong Kong 19

YouTube comments

There were 92 total comments posted on the nine YouTube videos with the majority posted on Thursday afternoon’s ceremony video reaching 27 comments.

Likes vs Dislikes

The nine videos were liked on YouTube 122 times with 6 dislikes.

That is a 95.3% like to dislike percentage.

Audience retention

16.2% of all viewers watched the ceremonies from start to finish without drop off.

That is 513 unique viewers.

This could suggest that over 80% of viewers were waiting to hear their own name before dropping off.

Traffic sources

The majority of views came from the University website. YouTube features including the channel page, search, and subscription feed made up over 25% of total traffic. Views from social media made up only 14% of all traffic.

The website is still the main sign post for the videos but it is interesting to see that our YouTube channel is becoming more reliable for users to engage with video content.

The website made up 25% of all traffic to the videos
Source Viewers
Website 2079
Undetected 1815
Direct URL into browser 1082
YouTube channel page 804
YouTube search 703
YouTube subscription feed 641
Facebook 498
Twitter 403
WhatsApp 294

Devices used to view YouTube videos

Users were mainly viewing the YouTube videos on mobile phones. This is a difference from previous years where computers were the most popular device.

Pie chart showing that mobile phones were 47.8% of devices used to watch videos
Device type Views
Mobile phone 3,941
Computer 3,049
TV 667
Tablet 555
Game console 31

Browsers used to view the ‘watch graduation live’ web page

Safari was the most popular browser used to view the ‘watch graduation live’ web page.

Pie chart showing that Safari is the most popular browser to view the videos
Browser Unique page views
Safari 2,487
Chrome 1,813
Safari (in-app) 369
Edge 183
Samsung Internet 172
Firefox 168
Android Webview 153
Internet Explorer 36
Amazon Silk 7
Opera 6

Page views for alternative ‘watch graduation live’ web page per country

An alternative page was used to allow users who had problems with the YouTube embedded stream to view the ceremonies through FlowPlayer.

In total, the alternative live stream web page had 443 unique page views over the five-day period.

The countries with the top ten page views of the alternative page are displayed in the below charts.

Users from China have restricted access to YouTube. There is a direct correlation between users based in China navigating from the ‘watch graduation live’ web page (93 page views), through to the alternative web page (33 page views). 60 users based in China either chose not to view the alternative stream, or were unsuccessful in locating the link. We could make this more prominent for future ceremonies.

Pie chart showing 53.3% of page views were from the UK
Country Unique page views
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 204
🇺🇸 United States 100
🇨🇳 China 33
🇲🇾 Malaysia 9
🇮🇳 India 8
🇨🇦 Canada 6
🇮🇩 Indonesia 6
🇮🇹 Italy 6
🇿🇦 South Africa 6
🇨🇴 Colombia 5


Compared to Summer 2019 graduation week, the web page views have decreased by half, but the total video views have increased by 1,000. This may mean that the YouTube channel is becoming more common knowledge for viewing our graduation ceremonies.

It is clear that offering an alternative to YouTube meets a requirement in some countries, however, we could find ways to make the alternative page more apparent as there is noticeable drop-off. We will continue to offer this service for future graduation ceremonies.

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