DURHAM, N.C. – Digitalsmiths, a venture-backed startup focused on video search and demographic technology, is bringing in a veteran executive to serve as its chairman of the board.

Daniel O’Brien, chairman of TV Anywhere, was recruited by Digitalsmiths’ management to act as an advisor and consultant, Digitalsmiths Chief Executive Officer Ben Weinberger told WRAL Local Tech Wire.

“Dan’s the next step,” Weinberger said. “We will have a few more exciting announcements coming soon.”

O’Brien will not be a member of Digitalsmiths’ day-to-day management team, and he is not making an investment in the firm “at this time,” Weinberger said.

Digitalsmiths recently closed on $6 million in venture funding. Two members of the venture funding companies and Weinberger make up the rest of the Digitalsmiths board.

TV Anywhere is focused on Internet Protocol TV, a technology being designed to deliver TV and other digital entertainment over phone lines. O’Brien also founded Gotuit, was chairman and CEO of Brief Original Broadcasts, CEO of High Speed Access Corp., and chief operating officer of Primestar.

Digitalsmiths wanted a chairman who was well connected to the digital video industry who could offer advice and also make introductions, Weinberger said. O’Brien was one of several people the company sought out, and he will work with the firm to shape strategy, research, product development, sales and marketing efforts, Weinberger added.

“We really looked at what Digitalsmiths needed as far as industry expertise and knowledge of the online video industry,” he explained. “Dan has successful knowledge in several areas, such as IPTV, and several areas we can touch in the future.

“Because he does have industry ties, his introductions will be invaluable in shaping the company,” Weinberger added.

Digitalsmiths is making no changes in its management team, Weinberger said.

Digitalsmiths’ lead technology is known as “Videosense” and is designed to search video as well as provide demographic and other data on viewers. Its InScene technology provides video indexing that makes video searchable.

"Videosense is a sophisticated technology that is poised to transform the broadband video advertising space," O’Brien said in a statement. "With the explosion of broadband content on the Internet and the incredible advertising revenue potential that exists for Videosense, I could not be more excited about taking on this role and working with this talented team."

Prior to joining Gotuit in April of 2005 O’Brien was the chairman and CEO of Brief Original Broadcasts. He served as High Speed Access Corp.’s president and CEO and was the president and COO of Primestar, Inc.
Investors in Digitalsmiths include Triangle-based Aurora Funds, Chrysalis Ventures and individuals.