Media Insights Q&A with Jane Clarke

This week the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) announced the results of a feasibility study for the Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification (TAXI) project. This study, in partnership with the ANA, 4A's and the IAB is a first step in implementing open and interoperable industry standard codes for content and ads across all content. I sat down with CIMM's Managing Director, Jane Clarke to talk about TAXI and other CIMM initiatives.

CIMM could not have chosen a better Managing Director than Jane Clarke, whose extensive and deep experience in Cross Platform and Set Top Box data contribute to her stellar reputation in the media industry. CIMM has two major initiatives: to facilitate the understanding of STB data and help facilitate Cross Platform measurement.

In a series of video interviews, conducted a few days before the release of the TAXI findings, Jane discusses not only the specifications and back story of TAXI but also CIMM's Cross Platform industry position, STB data and privacy. She also shares some predictions for the media landscape over the next few years.



The videos can be viewed here. Below is an excerpt.

CW: Jane, can you talk about the TAXI initiative?

JC: Yes. TAXI stands for Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification. This acronym was developed to cover this whole area of content identification, meaning both creative programming content and advertising as content as well. As we started on the cross platform initiative, one of the problems we saw was verifying exposure to assets as they travel across platform. The way it is now, everyone has their own proprietary tag and code. So if you want to follow an asset you may have to work with one company and use their code or their tag. There isn't an open and inter-operable standard. And so we just kept saying to ourselves, as with the UPC code, couldn't there be a UPC code for media?

So we put out an RFP and talked to many consulting firms and hired Ernst & Young. We worked with them for the last six months, talking to all of the different players in this whole area of content identification to better understand it. We are just about to put out the paper and the Primer, with a lot of these terms explained up on our website. What we have found is that actually, surprisingly, the industry is very supportive of developing an open and inter-operable standard. It solves a lot of problems - and not just research problems. As one company mentioned to me, that when talking about content identification there are the "Four R's", which are Research, Royalties, Rights and Residuals. So this is something that impacts the whole media ecosystem and we are having the researchers come to the table to say how important this is for the research companies.

There are some asset identification techniques that we are exploring. There are some companies and associations that have been developing ways to identify both content and advertising. There is Ad-ID that has been developed by the ANA and the 4As for ads. There is something called EIDR (Entertainment ID Registry) that has been developed out of MovieLabs and CableLabs and the movie studios for identifying content. And so we are evaluating all of these and are trying to put them together and come up with a Pilot Test. That is what we would like to do next - to actually test out if we can really, technically do this in the media ecosystem and what are the business benefits? We would like to be able to more clearly lay out the business benefits for all of the senior executives in the media industry so they can understand how important it would be for the industry to adopt this going forward.

So we have basically finished our first phase which is the Feasibility Study and then we are hoping to move into a Pilot Test phase next.

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