CBS already offers a variety of podcasts, from "Face The Nation" excerpts to the CBS Radio show "Larry Magid's Tech Report." However, the addition of "60 Minutes," perhaps CBS's most prestigious property, represents real confidence in the medium, said Betsy Morgan, senior vice president of CBS Digital Media and General Manager of CBSNews.com.
"I can assure you we wouldn't be doing this if we weren't seeing a strong demand for our existing podcasts," Morgan said.
Current demand doesn't yet justify hefty advertising on podcasts, but Morgan is hopeful that making more content available will hasten monetization. "We know podcasting still hasn't reached a critical mass, and still needs more traction," Morgan said, adding: "2006 will really be the year for podcasts."
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported several months ago that about one in three--29 percent--of the 22 million plus U.S. adults who own MP3 players have downloaded podcasts. Almost half of those between the ages of 18 and 28 who own iPods or MP3 players reported downloading podcasts.
Rivals from NBC News to Slate.com have begun to offer portions of programming and content as podcasts over the past few months.