Degree conferral ceremonies summer 2021 analytics data

Lewis Wake
Tuesday 13 July 2021

Between Monday 28 June 2021 and Friday 2 July 2021, nine degree conferral ceremony videos were premiered on the University website. Similar to last 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 1,853 graduating students including undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and postgraduate research students. This year was largely composed of students from the following countries:

Country Students
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 1,041
🇺🇸 United States 361
🇨🇳 China 63
🇨🇦 Canada 35
🇩🇪 Germany 24
🇮🇳 India 22
🇫🇷 France 15
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates 15
🇭🇰 Hong Kong 14
🇯🇵 Japan 14


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 7,363 unique page views over the five-day period.

Last year, this page had 5,401 unique page views.

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

Pie chart showing United Kingdom 67.9% of page views, United States with 20.1%
Country Unique page views
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 4,340
🇺🇸 United States 1,284
🇨🇳 China 149
🇮🇳 India 149
🇮🇹 Italy 91
🇨🇦 Canada 88
🇩🇪 Germany 77
🇫🇷 France 75
🇲🇾 Malaysia 72
🇭🇰 Hong Kong 70

YouTube views per degree conferral ceremony

View counts of the nine degree conferral ceremonies were somewhat evenly distributed. In total, the YouTube videos had 7,077 views over the five-day period.

Last year, the total views of the nine ceremonies accumulated 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 1,267
Tuesday AM 904
Tuesday PM 989
Wednesday AM 818
Wednesday PM 785
Thursday AM 579
Thursday PM 553
Friday AM 650
Friday PM 532
Total 7,077

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 20 countries.

Last year, this figure was 24 countries.

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

Pie chart showing 67% of views were from the UK
Country Total playbacks
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 2,949
🇺🇸 United States 1,049
🇮🇳 India 87
🇪🇸 Spain 81
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia 49
🇩🇪 Germany 40
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates 34
🇲🇾 Malaysia 34
🇮🇹 Italy 29
🇨🇦 Canada 25

YouTube live chat comments

The live premieres on YouTube have a chat feature so viewers can comment while watching the video.

There were 118 total comments posted on the nine YouTube videos with the majority posted on Wednesday morning’s ceremony video reaching 40 live comments.

Last year, this feature received 92 comments.

Likes vs Dislikes

The nine videos were liked on YouTube 145 times with 6 dislikes.

That is a 96.5% like to dislike percentage.

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 48.5% of devices used to watch videos
Device type Views
Mobile phone 3,425
Computer 2,432
TV 626
Tablet 539
Game console 37

This is the same trend as the previous year.

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 3,222
Chrome 2,359
Safari (in-app) 761
Edge 328
Android Webview 281
Samsung Internet 181
Firefox 174
Internet Explorer 22
Opera 13
Amazon Silk 7

This is the same trend as the previous year.

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 431 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 (149 unique page views), through to the alternative web page (79 unique page views).

70 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.

Last year, the unique page views from China were half. This shows a growing trend that we should cater for.

Pie chart showing 53.3% of page views were from the UK
Country Unique page views
🇬🇧 United Kingdom 179
🇨🇳 China 79
🇺🇸 United States 75
🇮🇳 India 11
🇭🇰 Hong Kong 10
🇨🇦 Canada 8
🇲🇾 Malaysia 7
🇩🇪 Germany 6
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates 5
🇩🇰 Denmark 5


The watch live web page unique view count has increased compared to Summer 2020 degree conferral week (7,363 compared to 5,401). Despite this, the total views of the YouTube videos is less than the previous year (7,077 compared to 8,319.)

There is a direct correlation between unique page views and the views of the YouTube videos. They are successfully being watched by those who visit the page.

As with previous years, the first ceremony is the most viewed. This is a trend we have seen with live videos in previous years as well.

As expected, there is a growing audience viewing the videos from mobile devices. This trend is only likely to continue.

The trend with users from China viewing the alternative page is in line with the trend from last year.

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 a noticeable drop-off. We will continue to offer this service for future graduation ceremonies.

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