Tom Wilde, former vice president of advertising and commerce at NameMedia Inc., now is CEO of Podzinger, a digital search engine and online ad network.
Mr. Wilde succeeds Podzinger founder Alex Laats, who remains a Podzinger board member. Mr. Laats hired Mr. Wilde to lead the company at a unique time for online advertising.
“Broadcasters are used to having control over consumer consumption of advertising content,” Mr. Wilde said. “Online users have inverted that model.”
Mr. Wilde’s background includes 15 years of online and search experience, mainly on the growth and strategy side of such companies as Lycos, Miva and, most recently, NameMedia, where he was senior vice president of advertising and commerce. He looks to refine and develop Podzinger’s unique technology to optimize media sites’ digital search capabilities.
Podzinger’s speech-to-text technology makes online video and audio searchable by more than just title and description. The technology is the product of $100 million worth of research, some of which was government funded. Digital files are run through a server cluster, where audio is converted to text and built into a searchable index.
Mr. Wilde’s primary goal as CEO is to develop Podzinger’s relationships with media companies to increase speech-to-text technology usage. He sees search as the foundation of Internet usage today but says that with the ubiquity of online video there is a need to refine how we use search.
“If someone said you could only search a text page by title and description, you would think they were kidding, but that is essentially what video search is today,” Mr. Wilde said.