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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : April 18, 2013

Image recognition and augmented reality trigger larger share of mobile activations in U.S. magazines

In the two years to the end of 2012, the number of mobile activations in the Top 100 US magazines by circulation has risen significantly. QR codes continue to be the dominant format but image-based and augmented reality activations are on the rise.

by Helen Leggatt

Mid-2012 saw up to 85% of magazine mobile activations in the form of QR codes. According to the latest industry figures from Nellymoser, gathered from surveying over 170,000 magazine pages and over 75,000 ad pages during 2012, that number has now dropped to 68%.

While still the dominant trigger for mobile activations, more sophisticated, and creative, solutions have cut in to QR code's lead such as invisible watermarks, image recognition and augmented reality. Currently, 12% of mobile activation codes are Microsoft Tags, Digimarc accounted for 9%, augmented reality interactions from Aurasma 6%, and BlippAR 3%.

"2012 was a watershed year for mobile activated print. Close to 20% of all activations were image-based. This represents a significant shift from code-based activation (e.g. QR codes) to image-based activation," said John Puterbaugh, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Nellymoser. "We expect this year over year growth to continue, fueled by the unique opportunity for editors to connect their print and digital content and engage readers via mobile."

Video remains the most popular action triggered by codes (33%) while 14% went to social media and 9% to sweepstake entries.

The downside is that another third triggered websites that, incredibly, were not optimized for mobile. While there is still some catching up to do among brands in this respect, directing a mobile customer via a mobile code to a mobile website that does not render properly is just, well, pointless. Previous research has found that many mobile users will simply leave a website that is not optimized for use on a mobile device.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, augmented reality, magazine industry, mobile optimization, mobile website, print to mobile, QR code

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