QR barcodes might finally be gaining a foothold in print publications, this time as a tool to direct mobile viewers to video content.

Matt Kinsman reports a study by mobile reponse firm Nellymoser found that 52 percent of QR codes used in print magazines are connected to videos, while 23 percent direct the reader to an associated website.

Printed bar codes have had a mixed reputation in the publishing industry since the CueCat experiment in the late 1990's. That attempt to connect print and digital experiences was unsuccessful, in part, because it required a proprietary reader.

Now that most smart phones are capable of reading bar codes, part of that barrier to success has been removed. What remains is for publishers to develop a strategy that makes the payoff for capturing a QR code worth the effort for consumers.

As I reported last week, mobile video is gaining rapidly in popularity. And, since typing a long URL into a smart phone can be a challenge, providing a printed QR "bookmark" for related video content might be the right strategy at the right time for publishers.

Nellymoser's study focused on the top 100 magazines by circulation in the U.S. and among issues available on newsstands in September, October and November 2010.