When Fans Were Offered a Choice of High-Quality Digital Formats, They Chose…

When we recently setup an online store for the band Arco’s Angel, the band wanted to offer fans a choice of higher quality digital formats – something beyond what iTunes and Amazon currently offer. We clearly indicated the types of format, the file sizes, and what free players could play the download files. The formats (FLAC, ALAC, 320kbps MP3, and 400kbps AAC) were listed out on the same page, and all carried the same price.

The band agreed to let me share the percentages of what their fans chose, and as you can see in the chart above the breakdown is as follows:

  1. ALAC (35.6%)
  2. MP3 (33.9%)
  3. FLAC (30.4%)

Interestingly, between those three formats, it was almost an even split. Also interesting was that hardly anyone chose the AAC format, so for the purposes of the chart that data was eliminated altogether. When you consider it as MP3 versus Lossless, twice as many people preferred the lossless format — and the MP3s offered were already higher quality than traditional digital retailers offer.

Note: The sales data considers only those sales through the band’s online store, and does not factor in sales from iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc.