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Nellymoser-Mag-Mobile-Action-Codes-2011-2012-Apr2013The number of mobile activations in the US’ top 100 magazines by circulation has grown from just 352 in Q1 2011 to 2,252 in Q4 2012, details Nellymoser [download page] in a new report. Besides the growth in action code use, the study also reveals some interesting shifts in their deployment, growing editorial engagement and use of image-based technologies. For example, roughly 17.6% of mobile activations appeared on editorial pages during 2012. In December 2011, there were 25 advertising codes for each editorial code.

The report also documents the rise in image-based activation, driven by either invisible watermarks or image recognition, which represented slightly less than 20% of all activations during 2012. Augmented reality has also grown in influence, to almost 10% of all mobile activation points in the latter part of the year.

QR codes remain the dominant trigger, at 68% of activations in 2012, but have seen their leading share erode. QR codes comprised up to 85% of magazine action codes in April and June of 2012. By contrast, Digimarc activations rose to a peak of 362 in Q3, from just 5 in all of 2011.

Other Findings:

  • About one-third of action codes led to video, with 8% going directly to a YouTube video or YouTube channel.
  • 33% of code destinations led to non-optimized websites.
  • The most represented industries in terms of mobile deployments were beauty (1,085), home (887), health (697), and fashion (631), which the researchers suggest means that mobile experiences are being targeted to women.

About the Data: The magazine study, conducted by Nellymoser over the course of two years, examined the top circulating magazines in the United States market. The list of investigated magazines was selected based on circulation statistics released by the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) and incorporated monthly, weekly, and biweekly publications. Freely distributed and membership-based publications were excluded, including those published by the AARP, NRA, and AAA. Regional titles as well as those not readily available on newsstands were also omitted.

Each issue within the list was examined page by page for mobile programs or engagements, whether triggered by QR code, Microsoft Tag, digital watermarking, image recognition, SMS code, or other methods of activation ”” terms interchangeably referred to throughout the paper as a trigger, activation, or action code.

In 2012, Nellymoser surveyed 173,620 total magazine pages, including 75,450 total advertising pages.

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