Interview, Part 2: Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive: The JV, IP, What’s Next

Continued from Part 1
Why not join the NBCU-News Corp. JV?: CBS is in discussions to have content distributed through the JV as a non-exclusive partner but shied away from the idea of being an actual part of the JV. Smith doesn’t like the idea of creating a new portal and CBS wanted to be able to make its own deals. Smith: “We don’t have a problem whatsover with the philosophy of the JV. Our only retort was, ‘Why would we join you exclusively when we can do it directly?’ All these distribution partners want a direct relationship with the content provider, not to take away from the JV.” A little later, we talked about why doing deals directly matters to him: “The whole point of this: you’ve got to be nimble for the Slings, the Bebos and the Joosts. I can’t wait for a committee of three.”

IP protection: The JV continues to stress its requirements that distributors promise copyright protection. Smith only talked about it when I brought it up: “The has to be worked out so I don’t make it as much of an issue. I assume that it’s going to be worked out.” Guarding too much would keep content locked away, he argues. For instance, instead of putting NCAA highlights on YouTube, “we would have taken it away from the largest audience but nobody would have gone to” The object is to create a safe, clean environment and hope that the user-generated content it creates around it is … cleared for rights reasons.”

Embedding and sharing: “We’re very open to the consideration. It’s crazy not to allow the audience to embed … for now, they can embed across all of their networks.” One issue now: how do you take content from one and embed it elsewhere while give full credit? Another — the advertiser has to be ok with it. He stressed that each partner is different has to be considered that way, adding, “This is not a collection of commoditized assets.”

Coming next: Smith: “We’re working hard on everything — JV, Yahoo, YouTube, you name it. We have to be and, by the way, they should, too. You know this new world — it’s partner. It’s embrace and extend, not hose the other guy.”