Double standards? DPP previews The Truth About Standards to member organisations

Book a bespoke briefing to learn more about what attitudes to standards mean for your organisation.

Book a bespoke briefing to learn more about what attitudes to standards mean for your organisation.

DPP members say they want standards to be free from royalty and licence fees. But they are also prepared to pay to implement a standard defined by a broad consortium of peers, ahead of a free alternative controlled by one company.

That is one of the contradictions in attitudes towards standards and standards bodies cited by DPP CTO Rowan de Pomerai during a session at the DPP’s Espresso Summit on Friday 9 September 2022 ahead of the IBC conference in Amsterdam.

Rowan was introducing a preview of an upcoming DPP insight project, The Truth About Standards, which will be published in October.

The report is based on the responses from over 200 DPP members to a comprehensive survey. It combines extensive quantitative research about which standards are being implemented, and in which areas, with qualitative commentary and insight from senior tech practitioners working across the media spectrum.

The report’s author and research team, CTO Rowan de Pomerai and Lead Technologist Mark Pascoe, are available to provide bespoke briefings to member organisations who wish to better understand what attitudes to standards across the media and entertainment industry mean for their business. To find out more, contact Mark here.

Standard bearers

Rowan shared how there is still a demand and expectation for formality when it comes to standards.

“Media companies demonstrated a preference for standards published by a recognised Standards Development Organisation, where the implementation is free from licence fees, a wide range of stakeholders contributed to its development, and with no patents on the underlying intellectual property,” Rowan says.

Standard deviation

But, DPP members also shared frustrations.

“Bloated standards crafted by a standards body are a pain to work with,” one respondent commented.

“Despite the standards organisations, we all have our own standards,” added another.

“Bloated standards crafted by a standards body are a pain to work with”

It’s a numbers game

To really drill down into attitudes and sentiments, Rowan and Mark offered respondents a series of binary choices about their preferences in The Truth About Standards survey.

Here, DPP members provided a clearer picture about what they really think. And sometimes offered contradictory views to their previous responses.

Ultimately, bigger is better in terms of development and implementation. And with the caveat that greater adoption broadly trumps the number of organisations involved in setting a standard.

A standard designed by a larger consortium that costs money to implement is preferable to one which is controlled by one company but available for free. A standard created by 25 companies and published as open source was chosen as more popular than one created by three companies and published by a standards development organisation.

And respondents would choose a standard developed by one organisation but implemented by 100 ahead of one created by a standards body and implemented by 5-10 organisations.

Rowan describes this as a chicken and egg situation.

“No vendor implements a standard without a customer requirement,” he says. “Yet no customer calls for a standard to be implemented without vendor support.”

A pragmatic approach

Interoperability is increasingly crucial to an effective global media supply chain. And most DPP members feel that standardisation is an important part of interoperability. But they also tell us that standardisation processes can be slow, political, and difficult to navigate.

Rowan advises a flexible and pragmatic approach to standards to navigate the software-defined, digital business landscape of the 2020s. Standards that are simple rather than perfect, and which start small and are immediately useful; rather than trying to tackle the mega challenges of standardising APIs and metadata structures.

The Truth About Standards is supported by Lead Sponsor Ross Video.

To learn more about attitudes towards standards across the media supply chain and what they mean for your organisation, contact Mark Pascoe and Rowan de Pomerai for a bespoke briefing.

Get involved

To find out more or to get involved with this work, please contact:

If your company is not a DPP member, you can learn more about the benefits of membership, or contact Michelle to discuss joining.

If your company is not a DPP member, you can learn more about the benefits of membership, or contact Michelle to discuss joining.



Enter your email to download

If you work for a DPP member company, you'll be able to log in or create your account. Otherwise, we'll help you learn more about how to access this download.

Not sure if your company is a member? Check our Members Directory

Download this file

Download Now Actionable Insight Summary

Great news. Your company is a member!

Register in a few quick and easy steps to get access to all DPP documents.

Create your login

Join the DPP for full access

This download is exclusively available to DPP members. If you think that your company is a member, you might want to try again.

If you're not yet a member, you can find out more about the benefits of membership.

Learn more

Think there's a mistake? Contact us.


We have emailed you a link to download this file.



Something went wrong.

Start again

If the problem persists, please get in touch.

Account suspended

Unfortunately it looks like your account has been suspended.

Use different email

Please verify your account

We can see you have created an account with us, but you need to verify your email address.


Please check your email to verify your account.

Just a few more details!

We would like to send you occasional updates on our work, publications, and events. You can unsubscribe at any time. Can we keep you informed by email?

Please choose an option

It's time to reverify your account

From time to time we need to reverify your email address for security reasons. Click the button below and we'll send you a link straightaway.

System unavailable

We're sorry, it looks like we can't register your account right now. Please check again later.

If the problem persists, please contact

Account Problem

We're very sorry, it looks like we can't retrieve your account right now. The membership team have been notified and should be in touch shortly.

If the problem persists, please contact

Coming Soon

This download is not yet available - check back soon!

Learn more

Payment Checkout

Set at runtime


Payment Complete

Thank you, we have emailed you a link to download this file. The link will be active for 24 hours. If you are having problems please contact us