Nellymoser Study Finds Big Jump in Use of QR/Mobile Codes in Magazines

ARLINGTON, MA—Nov. 29, 2011—Mobile Action Codes, which include QR codes, Microsoft Tags and 2D barcodes, are quickly becoming an important advertising tool for engaging readers, building brand loyalty and capturing new business, according to a new third quarter 2011 study by Nellymoser Inc., a mobile engagement company. The study found the use of magazine action codes in the Top 100 U.S. monthly magazines grew a dramatic 476 percent from January to September 2011, with a significant portion of that growth in advertisements.

For its latest mobile action code study, Nellymoser surveyed the top 100 U.S. magazines by circulation and looked at the published issues from July to September 2011. Growth was seen in many areas including:

  • Total number of action codes in magazines grew 476 percent—from 88 in January to 507 in September.
  • The percentage of ad pages with at least one action code grew from 3.53 percent of ad pages in January to 5.76 percent of ad pages in September.
  • The average number of action codes per issue grew from 2.33 codes per issue in the first quarter to 4.83 codes per issue in the third quarter.

Advertising usage is outpacing editorial for action code growth. In January, there were seven advertising action codes for each editorial code. By September, the ratio was nearly 20:1.

“The strong action code growth we’ve seen in 2011 signals the growing importance of print to mobile campaigns to advertisers, in particular,” said John Puterbaugh, CEO of Nellymoser. “Print to mobile campaigns provide a compelling way for advertisers to connect with readers immediately that can’t be reproduced with a traditional print ad.”

QR Codes and MS Tags Continue to Dominate Action Code Market

Throughout 2011, advertisers overwhelmingly preferred QR Codes and Microsoft Tags to other types of action codes, such as SpyderLynk and JagTag. Through the third quarter of 2011,, QR codes led with a 61 percent market share. Microsoft Tag followed with a 39 percent market share. None of the other 2D barcodes exceeded four percent market share.