A group of twelve companies currently involved in developing technology and services for the media industry recently announced that the companies are "joining forces to develop open and freely-available XML-based standards. The group initially intends to develop a set of standards that encompass the business transactions that occur over the life cycle of a television advertising order." An announcement on "Open Standards For Spot Advertising" outlines the collaborative effort to "define and publish a set of XML-based schemas that will support the business transactions necessary for advertising airtime sales." A first set of standards is scheduled for release by June 30, 2001. The companies "believe this initiative will help reduce inefficiencies in the ad buying and selling process, shorten the development cycle required to bring new innovations to market, and accelerate acceptance of online transaction processing in the media industry. The goal is that these standards will be published and made freely available in the public domain so that they can be used by companies involved in developing technologies that facilitate media buying and selling without licensing requirements or other restrictions. Acting as spokesperson for the group, W. Lowell Putnam, president and CEO of Video Communications Inc., said the standards initiative began after several companies expressed an interest in developing and adhering to a common set of standards. VCI invited representatives from each of the companies to participate in the initial discussion, during which the group established a timetable, prioritized a list of transactions, and organized into smaller working groups focused on creating draft standards. Other organizations interested in participating in the effort are invited to contact any member of the group, many of whom will also be exhibiting at NAB in Las Vegas, April 23-26, 2001."
Group participants: In addition to VCI, which hosted the initial discussion in Springfield, MA, other companies participating in the effort include Ad2Media, AdConnections, eMadison, InVision, Inc., MediaGravity, MediaOcean, MediaPartnerships, Spheric Media, and SQAD.