10/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

RNC Tops iTunes

Here's an interesting barometer of interest in the presidential camaign: iTunes. The top podcasts over the weekend remained Speeches from the RNC, followed by Video Highlights from the RNC, with Speeches from the DNC coming in fourth, between "Real Time with Bill Maher" and "This American Life." The iTunes set loves politics!

Here's what else they love: News. It's interesting to see how many news sources are in the top 100. Yes, this is just the "Podcasts" section and that would make sense. But still — smart newsies should be looking at this and figuring out how to muscle in on this podcast game. Here are a few examples:

8. NPR "Fresh Air" Podcast
12. Global News - BBC News Service
14. The Economist
19. Meet The Press (video)
30. This Week With George Stephanopoulos
31. NPR "Talk of the Nation" Podcast
32. Washington Week Video Podcast - PBS
40. 60 Minutes Podcast - The Full Broadcast
43. MSNBC Countdown (video)
44. NBC Nightly News (video)
50. Meet The Press (audio)
51. ABC World News (enhanced video)
58. Wall Street Journal This Morning
59. The Sean Hannity Show Podcast
62. Slate Magazine Daily Podcast
63. NPR It's All Politics Podcast
70. Anderson Cooper 360 Daily Video
74. Washington Week (audio)
83. Face The Nation (video)
86. Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points
92. Democracy Now! Audio
98. The Radio Factor - Bill O'Reilly
100. Green 960 - Rachel Maddow

I have omitted podcasts from news sources on other topics, like New Yorker Fiction (75) and various NPR podcasts on cars, science etc. (NPR does very well here). So do comedy, faith, and instructional guitar videos. Here are a few non-news sources to give a sense of the competition:

9. The Moth Podcast
10. Comedy Central Stand-Up (video)
16. Best of YouTube
17. The Soup Podcast
20. Countdown to High School Musical 3: Senior Year
21. VH1 Best Week Ever
22. The Onion Radio News
25: A Prairie Home Companion's News From Lake Wobegon
27. Beginning Guitar 101
28. Joel Osteen Audio Podcast
33. True Blood - HBO Podcasts
36. Onion News Network - video
39. Happy Tree Friends
42. Learn Spanish With Coffee Break Spanish
46. Walt Mossberg's Personal Technology
47. The Official Barack Obama Video Podcast
53. - This Week's Buzz
54.'s Spirit Channel
56. Zac Brown Band*
73. Entourage - HBO Podcasts
80. Flight of the Conchords
81. Ellen DeGeneres Show in a Minute
82. Ask A Ninja
93. The Ricky Gervais Podcast
99. The Jonas Brothers Podcast

(There are more instructional-instrumental, tech, faith and comedy podcasts, but that's just a slice.)

I will say that the news sources, at least, were jockeying for position over the weekend (I originally went to iTunes to download "Barracuda" and then checked to see if it had cracked the most-downloaded, and then saw that the "Stand Up To Cancer" multi-diva song "Stand Up" had already climbed to #2, which was great to see. Then my eye wandered down to podcasts, and away we went.) Earlier in the weekend Keith Olbermann was lower and Brian Williams was higher — now Olbie is ahead of NBC News (a news story plays out in a pitched battle for podcast dominance!). The Onion Radio and Video news were both lower than a number of news sources; they've moved up.

Also note the absence of podcasts from Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert — episodes are available to download for $1.99 in the "TV Shows" section (dominated, as usual, by "Gossip Girl"), but the available episodes lag a few days behind (I know all this because I am typing from Canada, where Daily Show videos and Hulu are not accessible. Grrr.) If Comedy Central decides to loose Stewart and Colbert on the podcast community, expect a massive rejiggering of these numbers.

Anyhow! Was this as interesting to you as it clearly was to me? Possibly not. But it's notable that the only CNN podcast is Anderson Cooper all the way down at 70, it's notable that the only MSNBC podcast is Olbermann, it's notable that CBS News with Katie Couric didn't crack the top 100, it's notable that the top-rated Fox is a feeble presence in the lower half of the list, it's notable that Rachel Maddow, whose show debuts tonight, makes it, it's notable that the Wall Street Journal is a presence but the New York Times is nowhere to be found. All of which is, I think, less indicative of relative popularity than the fact that traditional news organizations are just starting to get smart about how to repackage their content online. All of these podcasts are free, by the way.

That's it — now go sign up for some podcasts! I know you always wanted to learn to play guitar.

*I have no clue who the Zac Brown Band is, which may mean that they have worked the internet and new music platforms impressively.