France Album Sales: Britney Spears

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While recent years have been difficult for American singer Britney Spears, she is still the biggest selling artist under 40, as believe it or not she is still only 34. Some younger acts are chasing her strongly – Hello Adele – but sales Britney Spears achieved will remain massive nevertheless. If her comeback is rumored for this summer, it is time to review her past results.

After the iconic 1999 Baby One More Time she managed to record several more huge hits and stay one of the most hyped acts until 2003. Later years saw more band than good but along the way her records kept selling.

Baby One More Time was #1 in almost every country with an official Single charts, France included. It is very rare when a debuting foreign act get a #1 single. The few who did it, for example at the time Eiffel 65 or Lou Bega, sold very poorly their respective albums.

Was Britney Spears an exception that was popular enough among the youngest audience to drop a #1 physical single but also among older people to sell albums? This is the question we will be answering during the next pages while reviewing her complete discography. Please be aware all Spotify figures refer to worldwide streaming as they only aim to display which albums still have strong catalog hits as of now. Let’s go!

7 thoughts on “France Album Sales: Britney Spears”

    1. Hello Sam!

      Thanks a lot for the nice words. I’m well aware of both figures you are quoting, as I’m also the webmaster of fanofmusic website. Those two pages were done many years ago with assumptions related to the market size and IFOP year end chart. It appeared in later years that IFOP figures were often quite off the mark, which is why it was replaced by GFK as official data provider.

      The key information in the case of Britney album is that Virgin did a major audit of their catalog on July 9 2002. At that point, Britney was 2xGold (200,000) and it was not updated to Platinum (300,000). The album slowed down a lot after July, had it sold 405,000 units by the end of the year, it would have necessarily shipped enough to be certified Platinum during this July audit. It went Platinum in the next Virgin catalog audit in February 2003 instead. My assumption is that the album was truly close to the 300,000 mark by that point, which is how it concluded the year on 350,000 overall copies sold.

    1. Well first of all, this article is outdated. Her CSPC analysis has updated sales for her albums in France. They look like this now:

      1999 Baby One More Time – 720,000
      2000 Oops!… I Did It Again – 510,000
      2001 Britney – 415,000
      2003 In The Zone – 280,000
      2007 Blackout – 95,000
      2008 Circus – 190,000
      2011 Femme Fatale – 90,000
      2013 Britney Jean – 30,000

      She’s the biggest female of her generation in France. Not just there, in most of Europe actually. Her numbers are very good, I don’t see what’s disappointing about them. They’re slightly less impressive compared to what she pulled in Asia/North America/South America, but not “disappointing” by any means. Christina Aguilera’s whole discography (<400k) sold less than Britney's 3rd album in France and Beyoncé's total in France is equal to 720,000 aka the sales of Britney's 1st album there.

      The only European market where she had album sales that I could understand someone labeling them as "disappointing" is the UK, considering what a big market it is. However, everywhere else, she was huge. (Germany, Poland, Belgium, France, Austria ect)

      1. Even in the UK her album sales are still very good. She’s among the Top 20 best-selling female artists ever in terms of album sales.

    2. Can’t be that disappointing when she has outsold all her main female peers there, and by a large margin…

      1. Britney Spears – 2,675,000
      2. P!nk – 1,605,000
      3. Alicia Keys – 1,420,000
      4. Jennifer Lopez – 1,085,000
      5. Avril Lavigne – 850,000
      6. Destiny’s Child – 820,000
      7. Beyoncé – 755,000
      8. Christina Aguilera – 400,000

      She’s also outsold Shakira (around 2.2 million album sales), and obviously the likes of Taylor Swift (who has yet to outsell Glory with her new album), Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc.

      1. Oh. Of course she is the best selling female artists, among all of her competitors during her time. But I was expecting she would pull a big huge number like Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston did in Europe (Never expected her to be as big as Celine and Madonna though in Europe). It was quite disappointing to me that it wasn’t even close to Mariah, because I always thought that she was crazy2 big in Europe. But then again. Like what you guys said. Among her closest female competitors, she was the top dawg. And I bet she barely lose to Eminem in Europe. She must’ve been the 2nd best selling artist in Europe during the 00s decade.

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