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‘Dear Class of 2020’ Is Most-Watched Live Event in YouTube Originals History

Torrey Hart

YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” virtual graduation ceremony is the most-watched live event since its launch of YouTube Originals in 2016, Deadline reported Friday.

Former President Barack Obama headlined the June 7 four-hour event, which was thought up to commemorate graduation ceremonies that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally scheduled for June 6, but delayed a day in recognition of the memorial service for George Floyd being held then.

According to Deadline, the stream drew 665,000 concurrent viewers at its peak. Within 24 hours of airing, it racked up 17 million views, then reached 28 million within two days, and rose to 34 million within three.

“Dear Class of 2020” raked in $2 million from corporate sponsors.

In addition to the former president, Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kerry Washington, J.J. Abrams, Seth Rogen, Missy Elliot, Michael B. Jordan and Lizzo were included among the star-packed speaker lineup.

The news of YouTube’s success in putting on “Dear Class of 2020” comes as the company announced it is committing $100 million to highlight black artists and also streaming “Bear Witness, Take Action,” a 90-minute special encouraging viewers to support racial justice as part of that effort.

Watch the Full Replay of ‘Dear Class of 2020’

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