October 7, 2010, 1:10 PM

Video makes it big on mobile screens in Europe

The number of Europeans viewing TV and video content via mobile is up 66%.

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Video is heating up on mobile screens abroad. New data from comScore Inc. shows that the number of Europeans viewing television and video on mobile devices rose 66% over the past year to 12.1 million. The survey was based on mobile subscribers in the United Kingdom, France Germany, Spain and Italy.

The rate of increase was highest in Spain, though the U.K. had the largest number of mobile subscribers who watched TV and video on their cell phones. By country, the survey showed the number of people watching video or TV on mobile in July 2010 and the year-over-year increase in mobile TV and video viewing as follows:

United Kingdom, 12.1 million, 66%

Italy, 2.7 million, 75%

France, 2.7 million, 55%

Germany, 2.4 million, 72%

Spain, 1.7 million, 90%

Across Europe, mobile on-demand video—and TV programming in particular—experienced substantial growth year over year, up 99% with 5.2 million mobile owners viewing this type of content as of July 2010. The viewing of broadcast television programming rose 70% to 3.5 million mobile subscribers.

Of those who viewed video or TV on mobile devices, 8.2 million or just over two-thirds own smartphones. Here are the number of smartphone owners who watched TV and video on their mobile phones by country, and the percentage of all mobile users who used smartphones to view this type of content:

United Kingdom, 2.2 million, 68%

Italy, 1.8 million, 64%

France, 1.7 million, 68%

Germany, 1.3 million, 56%

Spain, 1.2 million, 72%

“Smartphone owners are clearly driving the mobile video trend, an indication that more growth is on the horizon as increasing numbers of smartphones hit the market,” says Jeremy Copp, comScore European vice president, mobile.

The comScore survey also included data for July 2010 on how consumers use mobile devices. The survey showed that across the five countries 83% of mobile subscribers sent text messages via mobile, 36% used mobile apps including games, 26% used a mobile browser, 25% listened to music on mobile devices, 15% accessed social networking sites or blogs and 30% accessed news and information via mobile.

By country, the percentage of mobile subscribers who sent text messages, used mobile applications, used a mobile browser, listened to music, accessed social networking sites and blogs, or accessed news and information via mobile was, respectively:

United Kingdom, 91%, 42%, 37%, 24%, 25%, 37%

France, 81%, 26%, 25%, 21%, 14%, 28%

Germany, 81%, 35%, 21%, 27%, 9%, 24%

Italy, 79%, 39%, 24%, 22%, 15%, 33%

Spain,  81%, 37%, 24%, 31%, 14%, 28%.

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