Everyone who has ever used YouTube or any other streaming media site knows that clicking through commercials have become a major (and most would say annoying) part of the experience. In fact, some commercials become popular online videos all on their own, as witnessed by many major companies releasing their commercials for huge television events like the Super Bowl days before the big game. However, there has never been a standard system for tracking commercial “airings” online and providing adequate compensation to the actors in the spots. In last year’s contract negotiations with major advertisers, SAG-AFTRA has devised a new standard system for making sure actors get the compensation they are owed for the their commercial work.
The new system utilizes technology called Ad-ID, which issues unique identifying codes to each commercial spot that allows them to be tracked across all media platforms. As of March 31, all commercials produced under union agreements will use Ad-ID to track actual viewership.
Not only is SAG-AFTRA pleased with the system (although a few employers still need to adopt the system), advertisers have also found the system easy-to-use. Jessica Blancovich, who is the broadcast and digital traffic manager at The Richards Group, told The Hollywood Reporter, “I feel that the universal adoption of Ad-ID across all platforms is essential in enabling workflow efficiencies, eliminating human error, and ensuring accurate measurement and reporting across all fragmented landscapes.”
Of course, there’s no word yet on how skipping the pre-video commercials on YouTube as fast as possible (as most people do) will effect compensation.