Study Finds Record Number of ‘Action Codes’ Printed in the Top 100 U.S. Magazines

ARLINGTON, MA—August 28, 2012—QR codes, digital watermarks, image recognition and other types of mobile action codes printed in the top 100 U.S. magazines reached a record number in second quarter, according to a new study by mobile marketing and technology services company, Nellymoser Inc. A total of 2,200 codes were printed during the quarter, up from 1,365 in the previous quarter (61 percent growth). More than 10 percent of advertisements contained a code, which was double the 5 percent rate from just one year ago.

For its latest mobile action code study, Nellymoser surveyed the top 100 U.S. magazines by circulation and analyzed the published issues from April to June 2012, covering 46,132 magazine pages. Findings were significant in many areas including:

  • From Q1 to Q2, the number of codes printed in the top 100 magazines grew from 1,365 to 2,200, a 61 percent increase.
  • 10.1 percent of magazine ad pages contained a code in Q2, up from 5 percent of ad pages in Q2 2011.
  • The number of brands that have adopted mobile action codes jumped to 598 in Q2, up from 451 in Q1—a 33 percent increase.
  • For the first time, every magazine in the study contained at least one code.
  • QR codes continue to be the clear action code market leader, maintaining more than an 80 percent market share since December 2011.

“Mobile activation has really taken hold in magazine advertising. Nearly 600 brands and every one of the top magazines have embraced print-to-mobile as a core marketing strategy,” said Roger Matus, executive vice president of Nellymoser and co-author of the Nellymoser study. “Action codes bring print pages to life and engage readers in ways that can’t be duplicated with a static ad. Based on what we’re seeing in our research, we anticipate more than 1000 codes per month will run in the top 100 magazines starting in September 2012.”