JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and JSONP ("JSON with padding") formats seems to be very similar and therefor it might be very confusing which MIME type they should be using. Even though the formats seems to be very similar, there are some subtle differences between them.

So whenever in any doubts, I have very simple approach (which works perfectly find in most cases), namely, go and check corresponding RFC document.


RFC 4627 (The application/json Media Type for JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)) is a specifications of JSON format. It says in section 6, that the MIME media type for JSON text is application/json.


JSONP ("JSON with padding") is handled different way than JSON, in a browser. JSONP is treated as a regular JavaScript script and therefor it should use application/javascript, the current official MIME type for JavaScript. In many cases, however, text/javascript MIME type will work fine too.

Note that text/javascript has been marked as obsolete by RFC 4329 (Scripting Media Types) document and it is recommended to use application/javascript type instead. However, due to legacy reasons, text/javascript is still widely used and it has cross-browser support (which is not always a case with application/javascript MIME type, especially with older browsers).

Other MIME types

If you are looking for other MIME types, I would recommend checking this document (Media Types), which I personally find very useful.