CBS Interactive Chief Quincy Smith on Hulu, TV Everywhere

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By on 11/17/2009 10:12 PM @daisywhitney

"Bet on TV Everywhere." Those are the parting words of CBS' outgoing digital chief Quincy Smith.

We caught up with him at the NewTeeVee live event last week and he talked about Hulu, TV Everywhere, and his mission to convince advertisers that online video is a reach and frequency play too.

Smith is leaving CBS in January to start his own advisory shop with CBS as his charter client. Part of his legacy at the Eye Network will include being a Hulu holdout.

While Fox, NBC, and ABC are partners now in the popular portal, CBS has held out, preferring to manage its own distribution of programs online through the CBS Audience Network and CBS-owned TV.com. "We do like the right to sell our own, distribute our own and make our own revenue and profit and have our own relationship directly with our clients, and that's one of the problems we have with Hulu and its structure right now," he said to Beet.TV, though he did praise the company and the Hulu team.

But he doesn't have a problem with TV Everywhere, the cable industry initiative being lead by Comcast and Time Warner. In fact, TV Everywhere can help drive dollars into online video simply by making content more widely available, he said.

TV Everywhere is rolling out officially next month, according to Comcast's Amy Banse.

"You want to get them to also watch the plasma screens in the living room with efforts like TV Everywhere so the economics of the television world can be opened back to online," he said. CBS was the first broadcaster to endorse TV Everywhere, he pointed out.

Like most programmers, Smith wants to see advertisers spend more money on online video and start treating the medium as a reach and frequency play, not just a targeting one, he said. That will come in time with better metrics and with more viewing of content across mediums, such as via TV Everywhere, he has said.

Update: More buzz today about TV Everywhere with the announcement from Comcast's thePlatform.

Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer

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