CSPC: Lady Gaga Popularity Analysis

Lady Gaga Career CSPC Results

Gaga wall

So, after checking all figures, you must be looking for how many overall equivalent album sales each Lady Gaga‘s record achieved. Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, Born This Way singles released in download format sold the equivalent of 4,080,000 albums – 27,200,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500)

This is it! The Fame / The Fame Monster achieves the massive total of 32,2 million album sales equivalent, way higher than anything released since 2008 by anyone minus Adele.

Incredibly, this era leads all five categories by a considerable margin. The Other releases category is meaningful. In fact, as Lady Gaga‘s debut album was hugely successful, we notice how many side albums got milked during this era. In the other side, Artpop bombed so much that her label quickly moved to something else as there was nothing to exploit in a profitable way.

This highlights the concern on those results as after four albums plus some external tracks the popstar’s debut still represents a gigantic 63% of her career total album sales equivalent.

That career total of Lady Gaga is up to 50,6 million album sales equivalent. In spite of continuous interest generated by her earlier tracks for which streaming figures increase greatly week after week, she will need to make a big return to form in order to notably improve her career total.

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge her position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

32 thoughts on “CSPC: Lady Gaga Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hey MJD! Great work on Gaga. However, I want to point out that you made a calculation mistake. In page 8, you have The Fame/The Fame Monster at 5,93m equivalent albums, but the total of all those songs add up to 70,8m, so it should be 7,08m album equivalents.

    1. Hello Raffi!

      Thanks a lot for all your very detailed comments that help improving the accuracy of all figures. With the amount of data involved typos end up appearing quite often and your help appears to be incredibly valuable. Figures fixed, & thanks again!

  2. Great sales, she’s done an incredible job!
    But one thing I must point out. There is no way that Artpop and Cheek To Cheek remaining album tracks sold that much. G.U.Y. has not even cracked 100k in the USA and it was the thrid single. Yet you have LOUD remaining album tracks at 700k for example even though they did better than tracks from these albums.

    1. Hello Gwen!

      Although released as a single, G.U.Y. is nowhere near the 3rd best selling song from Artpop. Both Venus and Dope sold way more. The second point you need to consider is that while we tend to heavily focus on US market, Lady Gaga has been selling a massive amount of digital singles in Asia. The last important point is the number of “remaining tracks”. Most songs from Rihanna‘s Loud have been singles, 7 out of 11 are individually mentioned, so this other tracks tally refer to 4 songs only. In the other side, Artpop contains 15 songs out of which 13 are not listed. Cheek To Cheek figure refer to 15 songs, an average of barely more than 50,000 units per song estimated, less than 3 times the estimated tally of Loud remaining songs.

    2. Hey! As you can see its been a year since the last update and a lot has gone on over the past 12 months (Joanne, Super Bowl, etc). Can we please get another update on her discography sales/stats? If not, when will we get another one?

  3. This is really awesome data, thanks for compiling and the analysis.

    As someone who deals with this type of thing often, how rare is it for an artist to forge a giant “comeback” after such a strong decline in sales/streams? I’m a massive Gaga fan and I truly think she’s set all the pieces properly to stage a giant return to glory, but does that happen? I think of artists like Britney, Christina and even Mariah Carey who eventually entered a decline they could never seem to recover from.

    The only contemporary artist I recall going quiet and coming back huge is Beyonce from ‘4’ to ‘Beyonce’ – but I feel even that wasn’t at such a large scale.

    Anyway, thanks!

    1. Hello Brandon!

      First, thanks for the very nice words! As for your question, the norm is indeed to pretty much slow down album after album. There is still many artists who did huge comebacks. Mariah Carey did so with The Emancipation Of Mimi, Madonna too with both Ray Of Light and Confessions On A Dancefloor or even U2 with All That You Can’t Leave Behind. All those albums predecessors sold 3-5 million, which wasn’t better than Artpop 2m+ figure back in the 90s. Green Day too with American Idiot, Eminem with Recovery, AC/DC with Black Ice, Celine Dion with Sans Attendre, P!nk with I’m Not Dead. Actually, there is many examples.

      Success is the result of a two factors multiplication – attractivity and exposition. What’s difficult after a string of albums selling less than their predecessor is that in financial terms the major likely lost money on all of them as production and promotion budgets are set according to the previous album success. Thus, they will tend to take less risks and reduce the promotion budget with following records, which is why many artists never recover as the exposition goes down and down. The attractivity yet is still there, Lady Gaga already proved she has the skills to create attractive songs. She is still fairly young and has still a strong following so if she releases a hit that gets viral on streaming platforms, her major will quickly back her strongly again. She really isn’t lost at all in the area of big selling acts.

      1. Her new album sold 500.000 copies only in USA . That is a great number nowday. Do you consider Joanne a decent comeback, as Circus?

        1. Hi Teen Pop!

          She is still having a decreasing trend overall so I wouldn’t consider it a comeback so far. The album is far from doing bad yet. For now it’s position really in the middle – no flop no smash, it is doing OK.

  4. Hey MJD,

    Any particular reason why the US album sales figures are higher than SoundScan numbers?

    Big fan of your work, keep it up!

    1. Hello RNN!

      The only real question would be why would the US album sales figures NOT be higher than Soundscan numbers? First, Soundscan figures have never been fully comprehensive. Second, nobody seriously following the music industry would consider a retail-only figure rather than shipment to determine album sales. Third, as soon as the only available figures for tons of countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina and many more are certifications, it is absolutely necessary to consider shipment too when referring to the UK or the UK sales. Adding restricted retail-only sales in one country to a shipment certification of an other country would be very amateur! Consistency is the key word.

  5. Great work on Gaga. She really had such an insane rise with her first era, it’s remarkable how many huge songs there were. The only one that seems below estimates I’ve seen elsewhere is Bad Romance – is it really just 600K ahead of Born This Way? It seemed such a bigger hit (despite missing the US #1).

    1. Hi RyanS!

      Bad Romance was indeed a much bigger hit in North America / Europe than Born This Way. This latter song shifted more than 1 million units in each Japan and South Korea though, much more than Bad Romance, which closed a lot the gap between both songs.

      1. Hi MJD, i love your work here, but I notice in the first page that you had The Fame/The Fame Monster at 4.9M only when TF/TFM sold 4.7m and TFM ep with 8 songs only sold 1.6m in US from BB itself http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/7334121/ask-billboard-lady-gagas-sales-whats-the-longest-streak-for .. and i think the TFM ep with 8 tracks only is released in a few countries like France which sold 177k.. I hope you can clarify the issue..

        GREAT WORK and thanks for the effort

      2. Hi MJD.. May I ask why Bad Romance is only at 10.8m when 2010 IFPI reported it at 9.7m , I believe it’s sold not only 1M after 7 years..

        and, when are you going to do a Meghan, Kesha and Carly analysis.. I’m so excited for their big songs Tik tok, Call Me Maybe and AATB.. Thank You and more power in your amazing work..

  6. Hi MJD, i love your work here, but I notice in the first page that you had The Fame/The Fame Monster at 4.9M only when TF/TFM sold 4.7m and TFM ep with 8 songs only sold 1.6m in US from BB itself http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/7334121/ask-billboard-lady-gagas-sales-whats-the-longest-streak-for .. and i think the TFM ep with 8 tracks only is released in a few countries like France which sold 177k.. I hope you can clarify the issue..

    GREAT WORK and thanks for the effort

    1. Hello Cryptique!

      The TFM EP has been accounted for in Compilation category, page 11. As all its songs came from The Fame era, all its sales got attributed into The Fame CSPC total anyway!

  7. Hi MJD.. May I ask why Bad Romance is only at 10.8m when 2010 IFPI reported it at 9.7m , I believe it’s sold not only 1M after 7 years..

    and, when are you going to do a Meghan, Kesha and Carly analysis.. I’m so excited for their big songs Tik tok, Call Me Maybe and AATB.. Thank You and more power in your amazing work..

    1. Hi Cryptique!

      We pointed out already on other articles that 2008-2010 songs that were big in Asia were deflated by my numbers from last summer – we saw the cases of Britney’s Circus as well as Taylor Swift’s Love Story. Rihanna is impacted as well. This is mostly due to Japanese and Korean markets taking off earlier than first believed.

      That’s one of the reason methodology has been recently adjusted for nearly all formats – formulas per country in album sales, extrapolations of physical singles depending on their year of release, global sales of downloads, their ratio compared to albums, the ratio of Spotify on streams, the addition of YouTube. The experience and the numerous distinct cases we met since 1 year enabled to put some light on areas that were remaining a black box up to now. We are now using almost every possible raw data to build total sales, with close to no estimation involved outside of the country-based figures, only cumulative tallies of breakdowns + complex extrapolations on the back of market sizes / year of release / target audience of missing markets.

      Obviously, all flaws identify on first versions of those articles will be fixed when each article gets updated 😉

      1. Hi, great work!
        May I ask, when are you going to update the article with Bad Romance real sales (many sources claim at least 12,000,000 WW, not just 10,8M) and Joanne era ?

        Still great work, yes Gaga had a decline from The Fame/Monster era but it’s totally normal, no one can sell THAT much with every era, Born This Way did amazing too. ARTPOP and Joanne did good, nothing amazing but she’s still one of the main pop stars. Hopefully she can snatch another hit single with her next studio album though.

  8. Thank you for your job!
    Great phenomena like Gaga tend to fall very fast (Spice Girls, Britney, Christina, Avril…), but after almost ten years of career, she is one of the few artists to sell a million album.

    The fame is the biggest album of the last fifteen years after 21?
    How sold joanne?
    When will you update her sales? Joanne sold more than five million records and the fame continued to sell this year.

  9. *Having released her fifth album only a few days ago, Lady Gaga is currently fighting to get back to her hey-days. By 2009, she was widely regarded as the most promising ‘new Madonna‘ sinceBritney Spears one decade earlier. Her album The Fame / The Fame Monster was ridiculously huge. Times are a-changing though and only a few years later she seems to be a has-been for many years. So, new Madonna or new Paula Abdul? Only time can tell.*

    You are very unfair to Lady Gaga. She is one of the few artists who now sell one million albums. That’s an incredible feat for an artist now and more for one that has been in the industry for more than ten years. She will not be as successful as Madonna, but Madonna had much less competition. However, Lady Gaga has had more longevity, consistency and success than Britney and Christina, who had no competition.

    1. You are delusional. 5 years into their careers, Britney released In the Zone and Gaga released “Artpop”, which like MJD pointed out, was a huge flop. 10 years into her career, Britney released Circus. Gaga hasn’t had more longevity than Britney. Let me not even talk about the “success” bit. Not sure about Christina.

      So everyone else had no competition except for Gaga? Please. Madonna’s competition was some of the best selling artists of all time like Whitney, Celine, MJ ect. Britney also had a lot of competition in the early 2000s. (P!nk, Avril, Eminem, Backstreet Boys ect.)

    2. Are you serious? I respect Lady Gaga a lot and, no doubt, she is one of the biggest stars of the last years and she was a phenomenon as big as the spice girls, but she can not compare to Britney.

      The Fame 33 million vs. Baby one more time 31 million: Lady Gaga
      Born this way 12 million vs Oops I did it again 22 million: Britney
      Art Pop 4.2 million vs Britney 12.9 million: Britney
      Joanne: 2.5 million (maximum) vs. In the Zone 11.9 million: Britney

      Blackout, Circus and Femme Fatale are bigger than the last two albums of Lady Gaga. There is no doubt that Britney is superior. However, I think Lady Gaga has already outperformed Katy Perry in both peak and longevity and she is the most successful artist of 2008.

      By the way, I’m surprised that Born this way has only sold 12 million with the new method. At the time, it seemed like an album as successful as teenage dream or loud, and yet, with the sps, these two albums have sold much more. Born this way, in hindsight, was a little flop.

  10. Hi MJD, amazing work, could you please update Bad Romance WW sales when you have the time. Many sources claim that Bad Romance is at 12,000,000WW, which is more than Just Dance (11,500,000) but less than the global smash Poker Face (16,200,000).

    Also, do you know how far is Just Dance from being Diamond certified in the US ? I know it’s 8x platinum but Gaga is really undercertified, ARTPOP was just certified when it has been eligible for 3 years. So Just Dance could be at least 9x platinum in the US (since its last certification is from 2015).

    Oh and it’s just a question but is it possible to include streaming sales to single? Like if Bad Romance is 11x platinum in the US, it means that Bad Romance has AT LEAST 6,000,000 sales from the US only from streaming (since it sold 5,700,000 in the US). Does it mean that Bad Romance sold 12M pure sales WW + 6M (US only), which would mean it sold at the very least 18M (sales + streaming). Is it right or is it wrong ? 😉

    When do you think Joanne era will be included? I know it takes a lot of time, I’m not complaining, it’s just that you’re work is so great that I’d like to read more for Lady Gaga !

    PS: Sorry for the double post, I’ve forgot many questions in the first one !

    1. Hi Henry!

      All sales are listed on their respective categories, it is better to get individual figures for physical sales, digital sales and streams rather than a mix of all that nobody really understand with unclear formulas. I prefer transparent data.

      As for the figure itself, I stated in the past that estimates from mid-2016 were mostly too low for hits from the 2008-2010 era so songs like Bad Romance are poised to climb when fixed.

      Just Dance isn’t going *that* strong nowadays so it is doubtful that a Diamond award is coming very soon although it will get there in the middle-run.

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