The good people at Apple’s iTunes have released their annual top-seller and best of lists for 2008. Ask a Ninja topped out the Video Podcast list on the “Classics” side, while 60FramesWho What Wear came in close to #1 for the Video Newcomers in 2008 category.

Unlike last year’s YouTube list of most memorable videos, whose honorees were chosen via a mysterious “formula” that took into consideration “view counts, most shared, most discussed, top rated, and general popularity,” Apple doesn’t let you know how these programs made it on the lists.

There’s now way to tell if the series had high download numbers or whether they were simply the editors’ favorites.

I’m guessing the selection process took into account both numbers and human preference, but to try to shed some light on the matter I’ve collected YouTube stats where applicable and added them onto Chris Albrecht’s list of honored web originals below (Note: As a point of reference, to break into YouTube’s Top 100 you currently need at least 61,453 subscribers):



Yes, this is an imperfect study, but out of the 22 online original series recognized by the iTunes 2008 best of lists, only one ranks amongst YouTube’s Top 100 Channels (College Humor) and only two others come even remotely close (Onion News Network and Ask a Ninja).

iTunes and YouTube surely have different demographics, but are they that different?

I see three possible scenarios: 1) Some of these shows are doing really well on iTunes. 2) A critical mass isn’t downloading this type of content from iTunes, so it’s anyone’s guess which show comes out on top. 3) Apple editors played a big role in choosing the above. Like Mr. Owl, I’m going with “3.”

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