EIDR Hits 5 Million Alternate IDs

The Entertainment Identifier Registry Association (EIDR), the nonprofit industry association meeting the crucial need across the entertainment supply chain for universal identifiers for audio visual objects, reached a milestone Sept. 23 with the registration of its 5 millionth Alternate Identifier.

The EIDR Content ID registry provides globally unique, curated identifiers for all types of audiovisual works in all their various forms. In addition to the EIDR IDs themselves, EIDR also records third-party identifiers related to the same assets.

On the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 23, Dr. Lindsay Persohn of the University of South Florida registered an EIDR ID for “A Conversation with AnnMarie Alberton Gunn,” an episode of the Classroom Caffeine podcast series (see 10.5240/1C80-DD87-F0C8-5488-60C2-5). Within the EIDR record, she also included an ORCID ID, EIDR’s 5 millionth third-party identifier.

“Classroom Caffeine is an excellent example of the breadth of coverage of the EIDR registry,” said Hollie Choi, EIDR’s Managing Director. “EIDR IDs aren’t just for movies and TV. They’re for all audiovisual works from high-value commercial content to non-commercial, academic materials, and even podcasts.”

EIDR also provides coverage for works from around the world, with registered works from 211 different countries in 254 different languages and dialects, spanning the full history of audiovisual content, from Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 “Horse in Motion” study to works currently in development but not yet released. In addition to traditional linear audiovisual content, EIDR also provides identifiers for non-linear content (interactive programs like “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and games like Minecraft), silent films (visual-only, like The Story of the Kelly Gang), and audio programs (audio-only, like Classroom Caffeine).

According to Richard W. Kroon, EIDR’s Director of Technical Operations: “We recognize that the Highlander Rule (‘There can be only one’) does not apply to identifiers – there will always be a need for special-purpose and domain-specific IDs.” So, instead of trying to replace all other identifiers, EIDR seeks to unify them; to provide a central cross-reference that acts as the media & entertainment industry’s digital Rosetta Stone. Or, as Kroon put it, “at EIDR, we like to follow the Tolkien Rule: One ID to rule them all, one ID to find them, one ID to bring them all and in the EIDR registry bind them.”

According to Dr. Persohn, the Classroom Caffeine team reached out to EIDR because it was looking for a way to attach a digital object identifier to the podcast. “Podcasting is outside of the realm of traditional research publications but is proving to be a powerful tool to share research freely with public audiences,” she said. “In the case of Classroom Caffeine, the show aims to make education research freely accessible to busy teachers and others in education.

“Academic podcasting affords practitioners a way to hear about research in a conversational format, often while multitasking. However, for social scholarship to gain traction as a legitimate way to share research findings, we must know more about the kind of attention and impact social scholarship can have. Adding unique identifiers like EIDR IDs to social scholarship assets like podcasts is a first step in tracking attention and impact. And because we wanted to link the digital asset to the person/guest featured in the podcast episode, we also utilize ORCID ids.”

The ORCID ID in “A Conversation with AnnMarie Alberton Gunn” is an example of the flexibility of EIDR’s Alternate ID service. In most cases, the EIDR ID and its Alt IDs all describe the same thing (the IMDb ID in “Bandersnatch” describes the same object as the EIDR ID itself). This is not always the case. To allow for this, the EIDR Alternate ID can include a Relation, which describes how the object identified by the EIDR ID relates to the object identified by the Alt ID. There are 13 different Alt ID Relations, include IsSameAs (the most common case), IsEntirelyContainedBy (the EIDR object is just part of the larger Alt ID-identified object), and Other (the relationship between the EIDR and Alt ID objects is not described by one of the other 12 Relations).

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) provides unique identification for participants in research, scholarship, and innovation – it is a “person” ID, while EIDR provides “asset” IDs. The interview subject featured in “A Conversation with AnnMarie Alberton Gunn” is, not surprisingly, AnnMarie Alberton Gunn. Her ORCID ID (0000-0003-2354-2825) links to a record of her academic bona fides and accomplishments, akin to linking to an actor’s bio and filmography.

“Since its launch in 2010,” Choi said, “EIDR has issued more than 2.6 million Content IDs and has now documented more than 5 million Alternate IDs, making it the world’s largest registry of its kind. EIDR serves the entire audiovisual community, from the largest multinational media conglomerate to the young director who’s produced her first short. We’re proud of the fact that EIDR is, and always has been, read-for-free. Anyone can use EIDR IDs to facilitate automation, eliminate manual title matching, or for unambiguous academic citation.”

The public is welcome to search the EIDR registry at and use EIDR IDs wherever they may apply.