YouTube announced today that it is transcoding all new videos into the WebM format, as well as other supported formats, which include MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEGPS, WMV, and FLV.
In the announcement, they say they are working to transcode the rest of the YouTube catalog.
"Given the massive size of our catalog - nearly 6 years of video is uploaded to YouTube every day - this is quite the undertaking," says software engineer James Zern. "So far we've already transcoded videos that make up 99% of views on the site or nearly 30% of all videos into WebM. We're focusing first on the most viewed videos on the site, and we've made great progress here through our cloud-based video processing infrastructure that maximizes the efficiency of processing and transcoding without stopping."
While clearly the transcoding videos is the real news here, I find that stat Zern dropped somewhat interesting. 30% of all videos account for 99% of views. Not all that surprising, but interesting still.
I find that stat perhaps even more interesting, conisdering some points HubPages just brought up about YouTube, with regards to Google's Panda update.
"While we believe the democratization of publishing and earning potential is an important part of the progress of the Web, we want to avoid a situation where a portion of content negatively impacts the rankings of high quality content," said HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson. "It appears HubPages has been impacted by this while YouTube has not, despite HubPages having a more strict content policy."
For context, HubPages was one of the top sites negatively impacted by the Panda update. Clearly, some people have indeed had negative experiences with HubPages content, but I believe there is some higher quality content in the mix - as there usually is with sites labeled "content farm".
He makes an interesting point about YouTube. The stat Zern drops, kind of backs up the point. Views aren't necessarily equivalent to quality, but quality videos do tend to gain views. By nature, people want to share quality content with others. If only 30% of YouTube's videos are making up almost all views, it would seem that there's a lot of lesser quality content on there.
It's hard to say where this content places in any given search results page, but it's something to think about.
"Actually, HubPages is to articles what YouTube is to video," Edmondson told WebProNews in a recent interview. "Like YouTube where enthusiasts post videos of their choice, our community write articles about whatever they wish and are passionate about. This covers a wide range of content from poetry to recipes, and pretty much everything in between. Writers choose what they write about, and they own their content. In return, they stand behind the content, build readership and interact within the HubPages community."