Entertainment Companies Launch ISBN-like System for Film and TV Content

In Global Trade Talk by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Yesterday, a coalition of entertainment companies, including MovieLabs, CableLabs, Comcast and Rovi Corporation, announced the launch of the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR). The EIDR is meant to serve as a global cataloging system for movies, television and other media content by providing a unique ID and metadata for each piece of content.

The press release cited the need to monitor vast amounts of content that are distributed through digital and alternative channels as a major reason for creating the EIDR:

“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.”

The EIDR number can be used for physical and digital products, and the registry is expected to launch in 2011.

The registry is built using open-source software and The registry will also provide a web user interface to search the database, as well as a web API for organizations that want to integrate the information into their workflows and information systems.

As book publishers increasingly work with and create cross media products, in addition to all the supplemental materials — like video and audio files — related to their books, the EIDR could represent a chance for publishers to distribute this content to more users, more efficiently.

The film and television industries already have huge distribution pipelines in place, and by using the EIDR to classify content like podcasts, author interviews, book trailers, supplemental content, and maybe even audiobooks, publishers have a chance to tap into those distribution channels.

Because EIDR is an open-source platform, the likelihood that new distribution channels will be created to draw from this database and deliver content to consumers is high, as is the potential to find new audiences for this content.

For more details on EIDR, an FAQ and membership information, visit eidr.org.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.