YouTube's Chad Hurley: "We Have The Largest Library of HD Video On The Internet."

It is early days for HD video on the Web, but already we are starting to see jostling for position in this nascent part of the Web video market. Less than two months after YouTube started streaming high-definition videos in a major way, CEO Chad Hurley is now claiming bragging rights as the biggest HD video site on the Web. At a panel today at Davos, he said:

We feel we have the largest library of HD video on the Internet.

If you look at YouTube’s HD category, five pages with about 100 HD videos come up. Hulu’s HD gallery, in contrast, only has six videos. Vimeo’s HD gallery has 178 712 videos. But CBS has at least 1,000 (and it is not clear how many of those are on YouTube in HD quality).

But those are just the featured videos. Search on YouTube for “HD” and then select only results in HD quality, and you get 150,000 results. That doesn’t necessarily mean there are 150,000 different HD videos on YouTube. But search on Hulu for “HD” and you get, once again, six results. CBS and other sites, obviously have more. But it seems likely that YouTube has the most.

Hurley also updated some other stats about YouTube. The site is now ingesting 15 hours of video content every minute, up from 13 hours every minute last September. And he gives some sense for what percentage of YouTube users actively upload videos as opposed to passively consuming them:

Even on Youtube, you have a small percentage of the community uploading videos, and the majority consumes. It is in the range of 2 to 3 percent. But the audience is so large even that is a big number.

That percentage is in line with participation rates for other social media. It is only the very top of the pyramid that actually creates and contributes content to any user-generated site. But is it the most talented 2 to 3 percent?