Mobile action codes – the fancy term for the coding built into a printed magazine that allows smartphones to connect digitally to deeper content – are exploding. Readers are scanning photos, QR codes and images at rates that are absolutely soaring, according to a report from Nellymoser.
Print in the Mix notes that, per the study, “…2013 saw the number of mobile experiences in the top 100 magazines rise to 13,088 – a 55% growth” over 2012.
So while many in the tech world have been loudly declaring that the QR code is dead, it seems that the idea behind it – an easy way for readers to virtually connect – is alive and well.
As reported in the study, mobile activations through editorial content (rather than advertising) are way up, by 246%.
“This is due primarily to editorial’s embrace of technologies that are unobtrusive to the overall look of the page’s layout— including image recognition (IR) and digital watermarking—in addition to augmented reality (AR) experiences,” according to the Nellymoser study.
So people do want to engage and form a connection between their print media and their smartphones. And they want it to be unobtrusive, seamless and rewarding when they get to the other side.
Mobile activations have been increasing steadily over the past years, but “2013 also saw an explosion in the range of technologies used to deliver activations,” according to Nellymoser.
“Compared to a total of 8,448 activations in 2012, 2013 saw 13,088 activated pages in the magazines surveyed. The top activated magazines included Marie Claire, Esquire, Redbook, Cooking Light and InStyle, showing the range of readership target demographics that are participating in mobile programs.”
While magazines continue to have deep engagement from print alone, the additional engagement from mobile activations could give your brand a good boost. It might be time to add mobile activation to your editorial mix, because it looks like this trend is here to stay.