New figures out today from comScore indicate that smartphone users in five key European markets are increasingly turning to their smartphones for news.

According to the study, 36.9% of smartphone users surveyed in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK reported accessing news sites via an app or browser in January 2012 – an increase of 74%, year-on-year. More frequent use is also on the rise; those accessing news on their smartphone “almost every day” saw an 82% increase.

Breaking smartphone-based news consumption down by country, the UK has the highest percentage of frequent users, at 46.8%, with France holding second place at 36.9%.

comScore’s figures come from its MobiLens service, which surveys “a nationally representative sample of mobile subscribers age 13 and above,” on usage of their primary mobile device.

Given the ever-lowering pricepoints for smartphones, it’s little surprise to see mobile news consumption on the rise. With smartphones reportedly at around 50% penetration in the European market, there’s plenty of room left for growth, too.

Screen Shot 2012 03 22 at 11.32.13 Smartphone based news consumption in Europe leaps 74% in one year: comScore