Hi-Res Audio sales overtake standard formats

Higher quality audio downloads are driving music lovers back to albums

Despite reports to the contrary, a survey of 2,000  ‘music lovers’ conducted by Sony Europe and music download service Qobuz, has found that album sales are performing strongly. Statistics show that where the Hi-Res Audio version of an album is available, 84 per cent of consumers will choose it rather than a compressed single.

Almost half (49 per cent) of all those who download music say they frequently prefer listening to complete albums over single tracks. One in four of those who download music (24 per cent) are still buying between five and ten albums in any three-month period.

According to pan-European music retailer Qobuz, the sale of tracks and albums in Hi-Res Audio formats also surpassed those of lower resolution downloads for the first time. Total Hi-Res Audio sales accounted for 53 percent of all downloads, compared to 11 percent in April 2014, while the total number of albums available rose from 1,500 in 2013 to 26,000 today.

“We believe that the album has an important role to play for generations to come and hopefully Hi-Res will help retain this focus.” says Alberto Ayala, Director of Vision and Sound at Sony Europe.

To back up this commitment, Sony’s new Walkman NWZ-A15 (pictured above) promises to immerse music fans in "a world of vivid, richly detailed sound bringing true audiophile credentials to portable audio players", while its latest MDR-1ADAC headphones include a built-in USB DAC amp that takes the digital output and converts the signal to an analogue output for amplification.