Talk Radio Startup Stitcher Adds An Election Center

As the Republican primaries wrap up and we head into the Obama vs. Romney stage of the presidential campaign, Stitcher has updated its talk radio app with an Election Center where anyone can track the latest political news.

It seems pretty natural for any news-focused app to add an election center, but CEO Noah Shanok says it’s a particularly good fit for Stitcher’s audience, of which 70 percent has engaged with news and political content. In the Election Center, you follow updates from different news sources like Slate, CBS News, and Marketplace. You can also follow official channels from each of the presidential candidates. Shanok says the campaigns see Stitcher as a big opportunity: “They understand that this is the year of mobile.” Will that translate into exclusive content for Stitcher? Shanok says it’s too early to know.

The company is also using the Election Center to test out some new technology. Every piece of content is automatically transcribed and analyzed, then used to create a list of trending topics across all of Stitcher’s election content. So you can see what the current hot topics are, look at how many times they’ve been mentioned, and then dive into a specific piece of related content. Shanok says we can expect to see trending topics expand outside the Election Center to other types of Stitcher content too.

For now, the Stitcher app is focused on national issues and, in particular, the presidential race, but Shanok says he’s also interested in looking at state and local issues — it just won’t happen this year.