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Making Print Mobile

Mobile Marketer has a good post on a study from the Audit Bureau of Circulations which covers how the publishing industry is embracing the mobile device.  It talks about how improvements in smart phone hardware and network speeds have made the consumer experience more rewarding.

“Smartphones make for a more satisfying reader experience, and these devices are more prevalent than ever,” said Neal Lulofs, senior vice president of communications and strategic planning at the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Schaumburg, IL.

“On the publishing side, mobile is part of a natural progression of news delivery that for several years has been evolving from print-only to multiplatform (print, online, PC, mobile and etcetera),” he said. “News consumption is also an obvious and valued way for consumers to use their devices with high frequency.”

Some key stats:

  • More than 80 percent of newspaper and magazine respondents believe people will rely more heavily on mobile devices as a primary information source in the next three years.
  • Nearly 70 percent of respondents agree that mobile is receiving more attention at their publication this year than last.
  • More than a third believes their publication already has a well-developed plan for attacking and conquering the mobile market.

So what does this mean for 2D codes?

Clearly the print media industry is evolving to a multi-platform system where traditional print is just one way to get content.  So, many publishers are now considering efficient ways of connecting these platforms – like 2D codes.

A number of print media publishers are now using ScanLife including Metro News, National Post, Laptop Magazine, and more.  It provides a really simple way for reader to get more interactive content that they can’t see from a static page – like video, updates, etc.  Many of these publishers even have a section in their print version that tells people what’s online.  Instead, they just a place a code next to a story, so people can see what’s online using the mobile device.

One challenge publishers are finding is how to drive traffic to their new flashy mobile site or iPhone app.  Investing in traditional banner ads isn’t at the top of the list.  So the best way to do it is leverage the existing readership – three-fourths of the respondents believe that their publication will be available in a print form five years from now.   The technology adds eyeballs to another platform which in turn increases advertising rates.

So not only does it improve the reader experience, but it also gives publishers another vehicle to sell around.  This seems to be good for everyone involved!


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Mobile barcodes have changed the way we discover & share information from the world around us. We welcome your thoughts & ideas on how to make this technology matter - today and in the future.


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