Open Standard “UPC” for Tracking Ads, Content Across Platforms Green Lighted by Brands and Media Industry Groups

April 18, 2013

Calls for widespread industry adoption of Ad-ID and EIDR coding for all advertising, video content assets

CIMM-backed advocacy platform, TAXI, brought together nearly 30 M&E companies for a 2+ year long series of studies and analyses to determine feasibility, evaluate supply chain and economic benefits  

More than $2 billion in annual M&E sector revenue upside projected, more than $500 million in M&E cost savings 

NEW YORK, NY – April 18, 2013 The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), Ad-ID, and EIDR, today unveiled results of a two-year long industry initiative to spark adoption of a “UPC code” for all professional video content and advertising. Nearly 30 media companies, advertisers and media research vendors participated in the initiative, which demonstrated that adopting such coding is not only feasible, but it is essential to help the media and entertainment sector better monetize video assets across distribution platforms, increase efficiency and accuracy of media workflows, and improve cross-platform media measurement by making it easier to track assets across television, broadband and mobile video.

More than $2 billion in annual revenue upside and more than $500 million in cost savings are projected for the media & entertainment supply-chain companies that choose to adopt this video asset identification method.

CIMM’s advocacy platform, TAXI (Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification), calls for all sides of the media ecosystem to coalesce around unique identifying codes provided by either Ad-ID, the industry standard for identifying advertising assets cross all media platforms, or EIDR, a global registry for unique identification of movie and TV content.

Jane Clarke, managing director for CIMM, said, “Brands, advertisers and networks produce more content than ever but, unfortunately, the industry still lacks the ability to accurately identify and track assets across all distribution points. The way it’s currently done is wasteful and ineffective.  Today is a watershed moment for the entire industry as there is now a clear and discernible pathway toward solving this problem. Those who choose to adopt Ad-ID and EIDR can benefit from a streamlined supply chain, increased productivity, far better monetization and significant cost savings.”

Groundwork for the TAXI initiative began in 2011 when CIMM, a coalition founded by leading television content providers, media agencies and advertisers, enlisted Ernst & Young LLP to spearhead a series of studies and tests simulating how existing open-standard asset registries – specifically, Ad-ID and EIDR – could be adopted within content and advertising supply-chains.  The goal was to determine the types of benefits that could be accrued across the M&E supply chain if advertisers, agencies and media companies adopted open-standard asset identification, and the technical and operational feasibility of doing so.

As a result of these tests, the participating media and entertainment organizations agreed that adoption of the Ad-ID and EIDR codes is a must. Now, these organizations are urging the entire media ecosystem to begin adoption according to the following implementation schedule:

  • Before the end of 2013, begin registering all newly-created video assets with the EIDR and Ad-ID registries
    • Also this year, detail functional requirements and budgets for implementing ID flow-through within media asset management, delivery and distribution infrastructures
    • Operationalize ID flow-through from post-production through distribution, consumption, measurement and reporting in 2014

Participants included: NBCUniversal Media LLC, ABC, Viacom Inc., Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., IPG Mediabrands, GroupM, Starcom MediaVest Group, LEGO, Unilever, Hulu, ESPN, and FOX Broadcasting Company, among others.  Some of the research and technology partners in the Pilot Tests included:  Nielsen, Arbitron Inc., Kantar Media, comScore Inc., Rentrak, and National TeleConsultants (NTC).

Harold Geller, chief growth officer of Ad-ID, said, “While some sides of the media and entertainment ecosystem are slowly beginning to recognize the value of brand-specific and cross-platform data to measure the effectiveness of an ad, the industry as a whole has yet to widely adopt a proven solution to accurately reconcile what the advertiser ordered and what actually goes on air. Our capabilities change that.”

Don Dulchinos, executive director of EIDR, said, “The problem with using proprietary or non-compatible methods to tag, track and catalog video assets is that interoperability is stonewalled, and work-arounds are costly.  By embracing an open-standard video asset identifier such as EIDR, the industry will have the necessary foundation to enable effective monetization of their content.”

David Kohl, Ernst & Young LLP Media & Entertainment Advisory Services, said, “The industry is ready for TAXI now. The tests we managed with CIMM and the 28 participating companies demonstrated not only that TAXI can work inside these companies, but that it’s economically feasible to implement it relative to what the participants said were some very significant upside benefits.  This isn’t going to be easy – if it were, the industry would have done this already – these tests created a burning platform for implementation because for the first time, companies can see that TAXI makes business sense.”

The test participants also identified additional potential benefits of Ad-ID and EIDR adoption including:

  • Fewer barriers to deploying cross-platform dynamic ad insertion
  • Improved measurement of the performance of ads
  • More granular media ratings
  • Improved automated content recognition
  • Less complex second-screen integration
  • Enablement of new anti-piracy tools and methods
  • Reduced asset storage and transmission costs

The findings were presented at the 2nd Annual Cross-Platform Video Measurement Summit in New York City which was organized by CIMM.

To view the final report or learn more on how to register, operationalize and measure using this methodology, please visit:

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About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is comprised of leading television content providers, media agencies and advertisers that aim to promote innovation and foster efficiencies in audience measurement for television and cross-platform video.  CIMM explores and identifies new methodologies in audience measurement and verifies these approaches through a series of pilot tests and studies conducted with independent measurement companies.  CIMM’s primary focus is on two key areas: the current and future potential of television measurement through the use of return-path data, and new methods for cross-platform media measurement.

About Ad-ID

Ad-ID is the industry standard for identifying advertising assets (broadcast, print and digital) across all media platforms. The Ad-ID system was developed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in 2003. Ad-ID serves more than 800 clients including the largest advertisers and advertising agencies in the world. Ad-ID was named Media Supplier of the Year by Media Magazine in 2012. Visit

About EIDR

Entertainment Identifier Registry Association (EIDR) is a not-for-profit industry association that was founded by Movielabs, CableLabs, all 6 major Hollywood studios plus many cable service providers to meet a crucial need across the entertainment supply chain for universal identifiers for a broad array of audio visual objects. For more information please visit


Media Contacts:


Erik Milster


(212) 446-1866


Evan Jordan

For Ad-ID

(917) 595-3056


Don Dulchinos


(303) 909-4598