Almost all entertainment content is distributed in the digital domain, now. Whether streaming, theatrical distribution, download, or on-demand viewing, what is being shared is a byte stream far more often than physical media. And because of the flexibility and low storage and distribution costs of digital content, there is more content, in more versions, available for distribution:
- Regional or variant versions
- Long-tail economics
- Different resolutions and encodings
It is not unusual for a single work to have many–sometime dozens–of variant versions in simultaneous distribution. Distribution agreements may cover only one of them, or require precise contractual specification to ensure that royalty and sub-licensing are conformed to.
This is where EIDR IDs can make life easier for every one in the distribution chain. Each of these variant versions of a work can have a distinct EIDR ID. And each ID is unique world-wide: it refers to that precise work (that’s EIDR’s core mission). So it becomes completely unambiguous which work has been licensed and played. And when EIDR IDs are used to report back play information–as is becoming the industry norm–audience measurement is precise as to versions, translations, and regional releases.