Audimeter

Audimeter

A devise attached to a television (or, originally, a radio) that records and transmits whether or not the television is turned on, and how long it broadcasts a particular channel. The audimeter was developed in 1936; the A.C. Nielsen Company has used it ever since to measure the popularity of different programs. The audiometer results affect advertising rates and even help determine whether programs continue to air.
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The Audimeter was the first automated, mechanical device for measuring radio audience listening habits.