US ratings giant Arbitron has been awarded an Emmy for 'Broadcast Audience Measurement Technology', for its Portable People Meter (PPM) electronic measurement system.
The firm was honoured by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) at last night's 61st Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards held during the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
PPM uses a small mobile phone-sized device that travels with an individual and keeps a record of their exposure to encoded audio. NATAS presented Arbitron with the award for the 'significant impact' that it believes the PPM has made on TV audience measurement.
Arbitron's implementation of the system has been repeatedly criticised by a number of radio stations and pressure groups who claim it undercounts minority listeners. However, Arbitron argues that its methodology is solid and that it is making continuous efforts at improvement including expanded use of CPO (Cell Phone Only) sampling, and by adding questions about country of origin in its recruitment process.
Arbitron CEO and President Michael Skarzynski said that the award would not have been possible without the dedication of its community of more than 50,000 panelists across the US 'who allow us to give media and advertisers the insight they need to make intelligent business decisions'.
Launched in 1948, these awards are given to an individual, company, or to a scientific or technical organization for developments and/or technologies which either represent an improvement on existing methods or have affected the transmission, recording or reception of TV.
'These are truly dynamic and exciting times for the television industry, and these Emmy Award winners were rewarded for their significant impact in enhancing the consumer viewing experience,' stated NATAS Chairman Herb Granath.
Web sites: www.arbitron.com and www.emmyonline.tv .