15 Top PODCASTS as of June 1, 2008

The #1 podcast this month. Here's a recent episode of "This American Life" from Chicago Public Radio

Which of the THOUSANDS of podcasts do people like most?

This month, let's COMBINE all the iTunes categories and countdown the most popular podcasts with the absolute most downloads over the past 30 days.

CATEGORY DOWNLOADED MORE THAN ANY OTHER: COMEDY!

No joke, let's count down the 15 most popular podcasts this month according to the iTunes Music Store from Apple:

How Stuff Works

POPULAR PODCASTS #15-11

Rank "Name" (Category) Origin

Podcast #15: "Stand Up Comedy" (comedy) from HBO

Podcast #14: "VH1 Best Week Ever" (comedy) from VH1

Podcast #13: "NPR Science Friday" (science & medicine) from National Public Radio

Podcast #12: "Oprah.com's Spirit Channel" (Spirituality) from Oprah Winfrey

Podcast #11: "MSNBC's Countdown - Audio" (News & Politics) from the MSNBC cable television network.

Great parking on this "Best of YouTube" podcast

POPULAR PODCASTS #10-6

Podcast #10: "The Soup Video Podcast" (comedy) from E! Online

Podcast #9: "NPR Fresh Air" (society & culture) from National Public Radio

Podcast #8: "Comedy Central Stand Up Video" (comedy) from the Comedy Central cable television network

Podcast #7: "Joel Osteen Audio Podcast" (religion & spirituality) from televangelist Joel Osteen

Podcast #6: "NPR Car Talk" (automotive) from National Public Radio

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POPULAR PODCASTS #5-1

Podcast #5: "MSNBC's Countdown - Video" (news & politics) from the MSNBC cable television network

Podcast #4: "NPR: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!" (games & hobbies) from National Public Radio

Pocast #3: "Best of YouTube - iPod Video" (comedy) from Plankton Productions

Podcast #2: "Stuff You Should Know" (TV & film) from HowStuffWorks.com

And the MOST POPULAR PODCAST, the one downloaded more than any other this month:

Podcast #1: "This American Life" (personal journals) from Chicago Public Radio

Analysis: few category favorites

Although COMEDY was the most downloaded category this month (5 of the top 15 podcasts, according to iTunes), the category "news & politics" came in a distant second, with MSNBC's Countdown holding TWO slots (the video version at #5 and the audio version at #11).

Interestingly, the other EIGHT slots in the top 15 podcasts were spread out among various categories:

Top Podcast CATEGORIES:

1. Comedy (#3, #8, #10, #14, #15)

2. News & Politics (#5, #11)

3. TIE: Personal Journals (#1), TV & Film (#2), Games & Hobbies (#4), Automotive (#6), Religion & Spirituality (#7), Society & Culture (#9), Spirituality (#12), and Science & Medicine (#13). Each of these categories have only one podcast each among this month's 15 Popular Podcasts this month.

CONCLUSION: If YOU are a podcaster interested in gaining subscribers, choose from one of the categories tied for position 3 this month.

Why? Because among the many categories, you have the best chance to show up on the iTunes top podcast lists if you can win in one of those categories where there are plenty of subscribers, but no one clear favorite...yet.

In other words, if your podcast can become the most downloaded in one of these non-dominant categories category, you can gain lots of traction.

Look for another "15 Popular Podcasts" again next month! In the meantime, keep downloading and enjoying the wide variety out there in podland.

Copyright 2008 Tom Zarecki. All Rights Reserved. The ranking of the podcasts in this article are based on the "podcast" section of the iTunes Music Store as of June 1, 2008. iTunes and the iTunes Music Store are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

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