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Global Identifiers (ISAN, EIDR)

Global Identifiers (ISAN, EIDR) 2020-01-08T13:02:10+00:00
A unique, internationally recognised and permanent reference number for your film, TV or online project.

Special note on ISAN:

As of 31 December 2019, ISAN Australasia has been discontinued. The registration of an ISAN is no longer a condition under Screen Australia’s funding arrangements.

More below.

Identification Standards

The global digital environment has seen, and will continue to see, a rapid expansion in ways of using film, TV and other forms of entertainment media – both legally and illegally. Unlike ISBNs that are pervasive for books, the screen industry continues to lack an agreed identification standard to track a title throughout its lifecycle.

Such a number, a globally accepted and universally used identifier would make managing catalogues of titles and tracking usage across the world simpler and more efficient.

Competing Standards

In 2002 the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) was published by the ISAN International Agency. The ISAN is a numbering system much like the ISBN identification standard for books.

ISAN Example graphic

Screenrights operated ISAN Australasia from 2003 to 2019 to issue ISAN numbers locally.

ISANs as an identifier has gained traction mostly in Europe.

Then in 2010, not-for-profit industry association The Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR) was founded by Movielabs, CableLabs, Comcast and Rovi to support the full range of media assets and relationships between assets, and to support effective monetisation through an increasing number of distribution channels. It was designed to be interoperable and work seamlessly and in a complementary manner with existing identifiers.

EIDR identifier number format

The EIDR is similar to a UPC code that is used to identify physical packaged goods. The EIDR as an identifier has gained traction mostly in North America.

Efforts are being made to make ISAN and EIDR interoperable, but as it stands today there is no globally accepted and universally used standard.

ISAN Australasia

ISAN Australasia was founded by Screenrights and APRA AMCOS to give the Australasian audio-visual industries access to an efficient means of identifying and tracking their work in the global digital environment.

As of 31 December 2019, ISAN Australasia has been discontinued. The registration of an ISAN is no longer a condition under Screen Australia’s funding arrangements.

All ISAN Australasia accounts have been transferred to the Transitory Agency (TRA) managed by ISAN International Agency. If you have previously purchased an ISAN through ISAN Australasia you can contact TRA to access your online account.

If you would like to find out more about how to purchase an ISAN for the first time you can read about your options here. For any questions, email cs@isan.org.

If you have questions about your project’s ISAN requirements under Screen Australia agreements, please contact your Screen Australia funding manager.

Into the Future

Screenrights remains committed to the use of global identifiers within the film and television industry, and is monitoring the evolution of competing identifier systems around the world.

Based on which system proves to be most useful to members, in terms of usability and the supporting services that work with each system, Screenrights will be looking to facilitate access to the best and most cost-effective identifier in the future.