Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)
Claimed Sales – 15,000,000
Estimated Sales – 9,100,000
Here comes the first example of a new generation of ignorance. The general public has no idea about Track / Streaming Equivalent stories. Even chart forum members will consider every major publication stating “the album xx sold yy million copies” as being related to pure album sales. Not anymore!
I picked the Rihanna album Good Girl Gone Bad first because it’s the oldest album that has been getting these kind of marketing tricks, and also because I already detailed the artist’s sales for both pure album sales (9,1 million) and overall equivalence (14,4 million). The label figure of 15 million stands roughly the same as the figure I published but without physical single sales – they forgot they exist – and DVDs shares, but with Youtube video streaming, which brings in notable numbers. I voluntarily exclude those views as due to the value gap they bring no value at all to the music industry.
One more recent example of such a communication tip has been Ed Sheeran’s album X, widely reported as a 10 million seller while it was just over 6 million. The artist had the honesty to publish below a breakdown on his Instagram account: