Weary of being unable to track content across multiple distribution networks, a number of influential entertainment companies have begun using a new content identification technique for both entertainment and ads that they hope will become common across the industry.

Comcast, Disney, Warner Bros. and Rovi are among those that have adopted Entertainment ID Registry (EIDR) identification tags.

EIDR is a non-profit industry service launched in 2011, founded to create a way to identify and track digital movie and TV content in commercial distribution, regardless of platform or distribution channel.

Comcast said the use of EIDR will enable the company to develop a database of program metadata from multiple sources that can be used across multiple platforms, including VOD, linear and online.

Rovi said it plans to add EIDR IDs into data feeds to its metadata customers as early as Q4 of this year.

"EIDR enables participants within the digital entertainment ecosystem to access quality metadata, which in turn helps end consumers to find the content they desire," said John Moakley, executive vice president of data solutions for Rovi.

Warner Bros. is using EIDR to protect an online content distribution it is developing.

Darcy Antonellis, president of Warner Bros.' technical operations, said: "Just as our advertising colleagues have seen a need to use a unique ID system for ads, the need for a unique ID to track media and entertainment flowing online also has become obvious. We are actively integrating EIDR into our content workflow and are working with retailers like Microsoft to incorporate the standard over the coming months."

Disney said it has implemented EIDR into its metadata and internal digital workflows.

Baseline, a part of The New York Times Co., said it is mapping EIDR IDs to its database of professional film and television information and adding EIDR IDs to its products in the coming months.

EIDR also announced today that the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), working hand-in-hand with the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), is recommending the use of EIDR IDs across the digital entertainment ecosystem and actively working to help drive adoption among studios, post-production houses and entertainment industry service providers.