LONDON: The rapid adoption of smartphones in the European Union's five largest economies has encouraged a surge in popularity for mobile video viewing, according to a new study.

Market research company comScore MobiLens, a subsidiary of the Virginia-based analytics group, found viewing from smartphones increased an average 112% in the last quarter compared to the same period last year.

That is the equivalent of 52.8m users, or 34.8% of all smartphone users in Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the UK, eMarketer reported.

German users recorded the steepest rise of 150%, followed by Italians on 124%, Spanish users on 110%, the British on 103% with French users significantly behind on 77%.

France also recorded the lowest rate among the five nations for smartphone users who watch video or TV on their mobile devices.

At 26.5%, it lagged far behind the 40.2% recorded in Spain, the 37.2% figure for the UK and the 33.5% registered in Germany.

The development provides further evidence of the advances being made by smartphone sales throughout the EU, where eMarketer expects penetration to average 47.4% this year.

It also expects at least 41% of mobile phone users in all the five countries surveyed to own a smartphone this year, but the rate is already higher in the UK and Spain at 60.4% and 47.5% respectively.

Furthermore, eMarketer estimates that smartphones will account for more than 97% of mobile video usage in the UK this year and that less than 1% of UK mobile video viewing will be done via feature phones by 2017.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff