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How Pandora read 'last-click attribution' its last rites

By Joe Kukura on May 22, 2015

People have traditionally gotten paid in the online ad industry via a model we call last-click attribution. It’s basically a way of giving credit to whichever publisher’s link effectively made the sale, considering that the viewer has already seen the ad 16 or so times before getting out their credit card and buying the product. Through the use of a Web tool called a cookie, marketers have been able to evaluate how many times a buyer has seen the ad and whose ad gets the credit for motivating the buyer to close the deal. It’s a very fair way of doing things! But it has been rendered completely useless by the emergence of mobile devices, where apps play a massively larger role in the conversion funnel. Cookies are an irrelevant factor for in-app purchases, a phenomenon that has confounded d

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Christa Avampato

Christa is a writer, product developer, and marketing professional. She founded the creative consulting practice, Chasing Down the Muse. Most of her writing lies at the intersection of business, technology, and culture. Her extensive writing portfolio includes features on PBS,, Wise Bread, The Motley Fool, and a series of live blogs from Mashable's Social Good Summit. She is the Founder of content development company Read her personal blog at and follow her on Twitter @christanyc and LinkedIn

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