Leading Entertainment Companies Create Registry for Movie and Television ContentWednesday, October 27th, 2010
Entertainment Identifier Registry Simplifies Digital Commerce for the Industry
HOLLYWOOD — A new international coalition, led by MovieLabs, CableLabs®, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ: ROVI), today announced the launch of the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR), a non-profit global independent registry that provides a uniform approach to cataloging movies, television shows, and other commercial audio/video assets with unique identifiers (IDs). Backed by a broad group of industry players, including Deluxe, Universal Pictures, Neustar, Paramount Pictures, Sonic Solutions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., Civolution, Vobile, INA (L’institut national de l’audiovisuel), and others, the registry is set up as an industry resource to help streamline digital commerce and simplify consumer transactions. The consortium is actively looking to expand with new partners and participants internationally.
Each year, millions of new entertainment assets from many sources and distribution channels are being added to the massive amount of content available in the marketplace. With the growth of digital and other alternative distribution channels, keeping track of all of these content products, especially videos, is becoming an increasingly complex task for many businesses in the entertainment supply chain. EIDR has been developed to address a critical need for a universal ID system for all types of audio/video assets in the entertainment industry, making it easier for businesses to search, track rights and report revenue based on an assets’ unique ID. The expected results are increased accuracy of information flowing to consumers, and lower cost and more efficient back-office processes.
“Most companies today are either using proprietary or disparate organic systems to catalog their entertainment assets, making the process of tracking content across multiple systems very difficult,” said Steve Weinstein, president and CEO, MovieLabs. “EIDR can provide the missing communication link between businesses. We look forward to expanding EIDR membership to companies throughout the global content ecosystem, which we think is critical to the success of the effort.”
Members of EIDR will have open access to the registry and/ or be able to supply their content to the registry for identification. For content distributors, access to unique IDs will help eliminate confusion between assets with same name or different cuts of the same video, helping to ensure that the right products are being distributed to the consumer. For content producers, the ability to register all of their assets will help simplify their post-production process and potentially lead to greater distribution of their products. Other companies in the supply chain can benefit from a streamlined communication process between their suppliers and distributors.
“We believe this standard will improve the flow of information among the companies we work with throughout the industry,” said Mark Hess, senior vice president of Advanced Business and Technology Development at Comcast. “EIDR provides the much needed foundation to present consistent data that will allow customers to discover and watch video on multiple platforms. We’re continually offering customers more content, and this is one of the tools that will help us build products to enhance their viewing experiences.”
“EIDR is the first step towards creating a better digital commerce experience for consumers. With the basic foundation for digital distribution, it creates new opportunities for businesses to expand their reach to consumers and helps consumers by enabling them to be presented with the right information to make purchases,” said Fred Amoroso, president and CEO of Rovi Corporation.
The IDs within EIDR will function similarly to Universal Product Codes (UPCs) that are used to identify physical packaged goods and the ISBN code for books. The registry will catalog and assign a single, unique unit of identification to movies and TV assets – from entire movies down to clips and composites – and can be used for both physical and digital video media that are part of the movie and television supply chain.
“A standard, low-cost approach for content ID is needed as the industry continues to move towards providing consumers with access to content anywhere, anytime and on any device,” said Dr. Paul Liao, president and CEO of CableLabs. “EIDR will help our members deliver content to their subscribers through their video initiatives, including TV Everywhere.”
The registry is expected to be available to members in early 2011. The registry will support a wide variety of distribution channels and consumer devices by identifying products and assets at all levels – from original productions to edits, translations, clips, composites, bundles and down to granular assets, such as different audio or video encodings intended for specific channels of distribution. EIDR will also provide a set of APIs for developers of third party applications and services, such as workflow integration, reporting, and enhanced metadata. Organized into a hierarchical reference system that links relevant pieces of content to one another, the registry is centralized in a single database that utilizes a sophisticated de-duplication system to ensure objects are registered under a unique ID.
It is being developed as an open, standards-based effort built on the established Digital Object Identifier (DOI) system, created by the International DOI® Foundation and based on the widely used Handle System persistent identifier technology. In addition, it uses the open-source registry software from the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). This flexible, open foundation allows it to interoperate seamlessly with other existing identifier systems, such as AD-ID, the industry standard for advertising asset identification, which is expected to help streamline interactions between content owners, distributors, system operators, advertisers, and metrics providers.
The EIDR coalition is organized as an industry non-profit governed by a Board of Directors comprising key stakeholders from content owners, video post-production houses, content distributors, retailers, entertainment services and technology provider companies. Development of the registry is guided by a Technical Advisory Board consisting of representatives from members of the coalition. Future development to meet new industry ID requirements also will be guided by participating companies.
The registry welcomes the open participation of stakeholders in the international movie and TV digital distribution ecosystem.