The 2015 Speech Industry Luminaries: Drew Lanham

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Drew Lanham

senior vice president and general manager, Nexidia

As senior vice president and general manager of the media business unit at Nexidia, Drew Lanham is responsible for leading Nexidia's expansion into several new areas, including digital media content search and quality control for closed captioning, video descriptions, and language subtitling.

In the past year alone, Nexidia has released three updates to its Dialogue Search, a solution that searches for any spoken word or phrase across massive media libraries in seconds. In version 1.6, released in August 2014, and version 1.8, released in February, Nexidia expanded its third-party integrations with the industry's leading media asset management solutions, including Interplay Production, Dalet Galaxy, IPV Curator, Vizrt Viz One, and Square Box Systems' CatDV. Dialogue Search version 2.0, released in March, boasts several new features, including full-text search and filtering of all metadata fields across all available sources and a redesigned user interface. These improvements streamline and enrich the user experience, open the doors to new stores of media, and leverage existing metadata.

Another key release for Lanham was Nexidia QC v2.3, the latest release of its software for automating quality control of closed captions, video description, and languages for broadcast and IP workflows. Nexidia QC v2.3 adds caption retiming, additional caption formats, and more languages to meet the needs of international broadcasters and media outlets. A new spell-check function can even test for the proper spelling of captions.

Following those releases, Lanham's division in May launched Illuminate, a suite of products that brings together Nexidia QC with Nexidia Comply, for compliance with Federal Communications Commission regulations that require closed captioning to adhere to a set of standards for accuracy, screen placement, completeness, and synchronicity with spoken words; and with Nexidia Align, for caption alignment.

In the two years since Nexidia launched Nexidia QC to help CNN comply with FCC regulations, the technology has been adopted by CBS, Comcast, PBS, Scripps Networks Interactive, and other Turner Networks stations.

Lanham has been in his current position at Nexidia since 2005. Prior to that, he was vice president of business development at Good Technology (acquired by Motorola), and before that he held various leadership positions at Yahoo. He also was cofounder and vice president of business development at Encompass, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1999. 

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