A broad coalition of entertainment companies, including Sony Pictures, Disney, Paramount, MovieLabs, CableLabs, Warner Brothers, Comcast and Rovi Corporation, announced yesterday the launch of the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR). A global cataloging system which will assign unique IDs and metadata for movies, television and other media content, EIDR is intended to help streamline digital commerce and simplify consumer media purchases.
Built on open-source software, the registry will be searchable via web user interface, and will provide a web API for organizations that want to integrate the information into their databases. Members of EIDR will have open access to the registry, and be able to submit their content to the registry for identification.
In addressing the implications for the television and film industries, the industry press release announces that “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.”
From a publishing and rights management perspective, the most interesting implications are those for cross-pollination between content formats.
Publishers are increasingly creating cross media products, in addition to all the supplemental materials — like video and audio files — related to books, and the EIDR could represent a chance for publishers to distribute this content to more users, more efficiently.
The film and television industries have huge distribution pipelines, and audiences, in place. By using the EIDR to classify content like podcasts, author interviews, book trailers, supplemental content, and possibly audiobooks, publishers may be able to tap into those distribution channels.
It’s almost a given that new distribution channels will be created to draw from this database. The EIDR does not provide any rights management support though – it simply assigns metadata to content, irrespective of ownership – so the industry should be prepared for new licensing and rights management challenges.