CSPC: Katy Perry Popularity Analysis

katy perry 003

She is back! Katy Perry just ended to drop her new single, Rise, selected to become the Rio Olympic Games official song. Back in 2008, the American pop star had to defend herself arguing she was no one-hit wonder when I Kissed A Girl was everywhere. In fact, she grow into an unstoppable hit machine.

Technically speaking, she is up to four albums already. I’m going to completely exclude her eponymous debut album released under her real name, Katy Hudson, quite simply because it hasn’t sold a thing. Her popular career started with 2008 set One Of The Boys which contained the aforementioned I Kissed A Girl as well as Hot N Cold.

Often, her success has been disregarded because of her relatively weak album sales. As you may start to understand, depending on your public target you are going to sell more on one format or one other, but it doesn’t mean you are more or less successful than some other artist. All results must be weighted properly to accurately rate the catalog worth of a singer. Guess what? That’s what we are going to study right now with Katy Perry.

As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea you do not need to worry, it is quite simple since it only consists in merging every format sales an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Katy Perry album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums on each format – physical, digital and streaming – and weight them to value those figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will study sales the only live album she dropped. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the California girl career results.

Let’s go!

24 thoughts on “CSPC: Katy Perry Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hello! Awesome article as usual! I must say I’m impressed by Katy Perry’s pure album sales. I always thought Teenage Dream had sold way less than that, but 7.5 million is a very solid total for a 2010 album. PRISM’s pure album sales are also respectable and its CSPC total is close to 10 million which is impressive.

    I think CSPC is a great method to measure the overal popularity of someone like Katy Perry, who is not exactly Taylor Swift or Adele in terms of album sales, but her massive single and streaming success make her one of the biggest acts of her generation, as proven by this article.

    Nice to see her at 33.4 million album sales equivalent. Hopefully, her new album will put her above 40 million.

    Do you think you can make an article like this for Britney Spears? I’d be really interested in it!

    Kind regards

  2. Hi MJD! Love your work on CSPC for different artists. It really makes the playing field for every artist quite fair. Keep up the good work!
    By the way, i see that you’ve only worked on either female artists or bands on the CSPC analysis. Why not try a male artist the next time? I recommend Usher. He had experienced both the physical singles era and the digital era. Also, I’m curious about how much album equivalents Confessions has sold. It had shipped 15-16m copies worldwide, so perhaps with streaming and singles sales factored in, that album is at 20m copies?

      1. I really need you to do Beyonce! Also super streaming forces like Drake and Justin Bieber. I also think it would be interesting to do someone with horrible album sales but huge singles like FloRida or Jason Derillo (I might have spelled that wrong) keep up the good work!

  3. Hi everyone,

    I would like to apologies since I noted I applied a formula fitting for an other period (the 90s) for album sales estimates outside of covered markets, thus slightly inflating results in album format. I have now adjusted all figures with appropriate results.

  4. Thank you for your articles. Always very interesting to read!

    I expect HUUUUUUUGE results for Eminem. MJ will be absolutely massive too.

    Perhaps Ed Sheeran would be an interesting case to study as well.

    1. Hello Marcelo,

      Codes refer only to CD sales. They amount to 64,000 units plus one missing – likely 2,000 – but Prism was also certified Platinum for Digital sales meaning over 100,000 downloads.

    1. Hi Cat!

      No – the new methodology adds YouTube but also downgrades the strength of audio streams due to the market evolution, this her total will most likely go down!

  5. Hi MJD. Have you seen Katy saying in a video that “Witness” is 5 times platinum in China? Of course, this is hard to believe so I guess you won’t be taking this seriously… right?

    1. Hi Gus!

      You are correct on both points, I saw it and I won’t be taking it seriously 😉

      In any case, if (IF!) it happened, we will notice it within’ next year’s list of IFPI top sellers!

      1. “Witness” has sold 528,000 copies on QQ Music:


        However, “MADE” by Korean boyband BigBang sold around 2 million copies on this site last year, but the album is nowhere to be seen amoung the 2016 best sellers in this years IFPI report.

        Does it have anything to do with the pricing? Because “Witness” only costs 20 Yuan (3 USD)

        1. Hi Al!

          On the same website, 1989 by Taylor Swift is over 3,5 million, those are not sales. In fact, you can pay to download an album, but nobody does that on y.qq. This is a streaming service, on which you can pay an extra fee per month – $2.18 instead of $1.16 – to also download anything you want. Thus, those are not paid downloads, it is equivalent to Spotify users putting in local some songs.

          It doesn’t mean we have to forget about that data – this is still interesting to identify a success in China, but they shouldn’t be regarded as sales at all.

          1. Thank you for the answer! It solves a lot of questions I’ve had regarding China.

            It’s funny how many wikipedia sites regard these numbers as sales

  6. Hey. First I want to say thanks for this service. It’s sometimes challenging to find “realistic” numbers. I just have a few questions/ comments.

    According to this press release that was issued following the release of Rise, Katy Perry’s third studio album, PRISM, has sold more than 11 million adjusted albums worldwide.

    Also, before Chained to the Rhythm was released, Katy received this plaque by Universal Music Group that commemorates her selling 165M records WW, 40M being adjusted album sales. Like I said, this is before the start of Witness era, and considering CTTR sold 4M SPS WW and Roar went diamond (+1M), that would bring her total record sales to 170M WW.

  7. Hi
    First of all thanks for you work, i wanted to ask if we can have an upload, please.
    I mean the Witness Era and some reviews like Roar and Dark Horse for the singles (cause for example you wrote DH sold 10m but now it received the Diamond certification so it sold 10m just in the us) and Prism (that you wrote it sold 10m but now the Recording Academy said it sold +13m WW).

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