Everyone in podcasting has demonized the poor analytics prefix. When done correctly, these redirects in front of the episode mp3 are fast, reliable and add value. A typical prefix adds less than 100ms to a download which is imperceptible to the user. Sadly, too many in this industry have been burned by one in the past.
Luckily there are other solutions, and Podsights now supports them.
3rd Party Tracking URLs
Tracking URLs are slightly confusing, but we are going to dive into it.
Hosting platforms that support dynamic insertion, generally, have 3rd party tracking “Pixels” or URLs. Every time the platform inserts an ad into an episode, it makes a request to the tracking URL saying, “Hey, I inserted an ad that is part of your campaign.” The request passes along information about the download as well, most notably IP and User Agent.
The graphic below tries to illustrate the difference.
To support tracking URLs, we built sink.pdst.fm. Like our analytics prefix, it feeds our reporting pipelines with download information and rolls up to the dashboard and attribution.
When you create a campaign and you host on either Megaphone or Art19 you will be given the option to use a tracking pixel. On the future episode detail page you will see a message that looks like this:
If you fear the analytics prefix, fear no more, we have a solution for you.