How does podcast attribution work through pixels?

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Measuring results is something all of us are asked to do constantly. Is this social media strategy worth the effort? Are these ads driving results? Is our content resonating with audiences? Podcasts are no different and that’s why podcast attribution matters. That’s especially true for advertising and other campaigns with CTAs.

Sean Creeley, of, joined me to discuss how to use technology to track podcast advertising conversions.

In a traditional off-line podcast attribution model, the host will give listeners a code that they can then use on the advertiser’s website.

I actually did this at the beginning of our livestream on LinkedIn when I mentioned that we are using Switcher Studio and that people could use my code to get 10% off. Another model that we previously discussed on the podcast was to text in to a specific number to get a deal.

Both of those strategies require work from the consumer and sometimes it’s quite frankly difficult to remember what’s the code and even how do you spell it?

So Sean and his company try to automate podcast attribution through the use of a pixel. Many marketers of course have used pixels in other advertising projects like Facebook and others before. You add a pixel to your website and now you’re able to remarket to visitors, for example.

Podsights uses a pixel in its automatic podcast attribution. In general, here’s how that works:

  • You consume a podcast on your device and it doesn’t matter what podcast platform it came from. At the end of the day no matter the platform it’s really just serving an MP3 audio file, Sean explained.
  • The pixel basically drops on the home network of where the podcast impression happened.
  • Then if somebody from that network visits the advertiser website in the near future the podcast gets credit for the referral and hopefully conversion.

What’s an impression?

We’ve talked about the difference between downloads and listens but for podcast attribution podcast ad impressions matter. An impression happens when the ad gets played.

[Tweet “A podcast ad impression = listener playing the ad.”]

Podcast attribution outside from advertising

Most of the episode we talked about podcast advertising and podcast attribution. But I also see a use case for content marketers that are creating branded podcasts. Of course to actually work, the brand podcast has to be interesting enough to draw an audience. But branded podcasts also have call to actions and can have calls to action to services and products.

Read next: How to pick a podcast name – The best ideas for your podcast name from experts

I could use the Podsights services to track conversions from my podcast to services or even book sales. I often promote my book on my podcast. When you have a good-sized audience for your podcast but want to proof more business results, this is one way to proof the podcast is driving results. Or you’ll find out that it’s not.

When podcast attribution starts mattering

Keep in mind that you do have to have a sizable audience to even consider running ads on your podcast. Heather Osgood dives into the topic on this episode of the Business Storytelling Podcast:

Certainly I’m  always a fan of monetizing everything out of the gate but like anything in content strategy it’s hard to monetize projects until they draw a good sized audience.

podcast attribution once you have listeners
I’m thankful to all my listeners that have helped me grow my podcast audience.

One way that I’ve really seen my podcast take off is to make them an integral part of my overall and integrated COPE strategy.

To get the most out of my podcasts:

  • I livestream some
  • I write articles about some and embed the audio
  • Distribute to all podcast channels including Pandora
  • Share it on social media and repeatably
  • Embed episodes when relevant – like I did with Heather’s episode

What kind of conversion rate can we see through podcast attribution?

Tamara Burkett previously told us on an episode of the podcast that 3% of your relevant audiences  are ready to buy. Sean mentioned that  podcast advertisers can also hope for a 1 to 2% conversion rate. That’s another reason to keep building that audience of your show.

[Tweet “The larger your relevant audience the larger your conversion rate.”]


In early 2022, the Google Podcast app started running notifications, letting consumers know this is happening. Now, as far as I can tell there’s no way to opt out yet but the notification is new.

Podcast attribution wrap

At the end of the day, podcast attribution like all measurements work best when they’re easy and happen automatically. Podcast attribution through pixels is one good way to see what’s working and what’s not working.

Listen to my podcast