The livestream featured commencement addresses from Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, BTS, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and more, as well as performances by BTS, Katy Perry, Meghan Thee Stallion and Latin American group CNCO.
According to YouTube, “Dear Class of 2020” was the most-viewed YouTube originals live event to date — drawing more than 665,000 peak concurrent viewers (the number of viewers watching at one time). The special notched over 17 million total views one day post-launch and 34 million total views after three days across all videos.
The main “Dear Class of 2020” video stream held the No. 1 trending performance spot in 15 countries throughout the duration of the event. Additionally 10 individual videos hit the trending tab in 89 countries, according to YouTube.
In addition, “Dear Class of 2020” was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for the entirety of the event — making it the most talked-about YouTube originals launch ever based on volume of social-media conversation.
The event raised almost $2 million from corporate donors, in partnership with Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher and Google.org. The virtual commencement celebration brought together over 70 leaders, celebrities and creators to celebrate graduates, their families, and their communities.
Highlight moments that received the most views included the commencement speeches from BTS, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama; and musical performances from BTS, Chloe x Halle, Lizzo and the New York Philharmonic, Maluma, Katy Perry, the cast of “Schitt’s Creek” featuring Mariah Carey, Megan Thee Stallion and a Finneas collab featuring Leon Bridges, Camila Cabello, Noah Cyrus, Cynthia Erivo, Khalid, Tove Lo, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Ben Platt, and Ty Dolla $ign.
YouTube also assembled a supercut of “Dear Class of 2020” highlights, packing the four-plus-hour event into 2 minutes and 44 seconds: