CSPC: Coldplay Popularity Analysis


Digital Singles Sales

Sometimes you only need to check one example to understand the whole story. Adele apart, there have been no true blockbuster in years. While the quick – and wrong – conclusion would be that it is due to the market collapse, that no album really destroy the competition anymore is due to the digital world. In the past, we used to heavily concentrate our music consumption into a dozen of albums per year. Nowadays, instead of buying a few albums, we listen thousands of tracks.

As shown by their early years, Coldplay never managed to be a big selling physical singles act, selling albums instead. This separation doesn’t exist anymore with digital sales with the band moving truly huge numbers in tracks downloads. In total, the British Pop / Rock band sold 86,1 million digital singles. All their early hits individually sold more units as a catalog download song than the group sold of all their physical singles combined. The fact sales are spread over a much higher number of items necessarily downgrade the impact of a single avenue like pure album sales.

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1 ratio between one album and one digital single.

Parachutes (2000) – 830,000 equivalent albums

Shiver – 600,000
Yellow – 4,300,000
Trouble – 1,100,000
Don’t Panic – 700,000
Remaining Songs – 1,600,000

A Rush Of Blood To The Head (2002) – 1,260,000 equivalent albums

In My Place – 1,000,000
The Scientist – 4,300,000
Clocks – 5,000,000
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face – 400,000
Remaining Songs – 1,900,000

X&Y (2005) – 1,300,000 equivalent albums

Speed Of Sound – 3,000,000
Fix You – 5,000,000
Talk – 1,800,000
The Hardest Part – 800,000
Remaining Songs – 2,400,000

Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends (2008) – 1,910,000 equivalent albums

Violet Hill – 2,100,000
Viva La Vida– 11,600,000
Lovers In Japan – 600,000
Lost! – 1,700,000
Life In Technicolor II – 1,100,000
Remaining Songs – 2,000,000

Mylo Xyloto (2011) – 1,790,000 equivalent albums

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall – 2,800,000
Paradise– 8,500,000
Charlie Brown – 900,000
Princess Of China – 2,900,000
Remaining Songs – 2,800,000

Ghost Stories (2014) – 800,000 equivalent albums

Magic – 2,300,000
Midnight– 600,000
A Sky Full Of Stars – 3,600,000
Remaining Songs – 1,500,000

A Head Full Of Dreams (2015) – 450,000 equivalent albums

Adventure Of A Lifetime – 2,000,000
Hymn For The Weekend – 1,400,000
Everglow – 300,000
Remaining Songs – 800,000

Orphan Album – 270,000 equivalent albums

Christmas Lights – 1,200,000
Atlas – 500,000
Remaining Songs – 1,000,000

9 thoughts on “CSPC: Coldplay Popularity Analysis”

  1. Please update
    1. A Head Full of Dreams is now 3x Platinum in France
    2. In Brazil, A Head Full of Dreams already sold 100,000 copies (at least)
    3. In UK, A Head Full of Dreams has sold 875,000 copies.

    1. Hello Sambuu,

      You need to keep in mind figures you are quoting include a good share of streaming converted to sales. As Streaming figures refer to Worldwide streaming, we need to first remove it from countries were it gets counted to avoid double counting.

      As for later updates of ‘new’ ongoing sales, I’ll not be reflecting them on articles as they are dated. It will create confusion and push people to inflate figures if they read figures updated in Sept 2016 on an article dated for example March 2016. I’ll possibly re-do a CSPC Coldplay article when the total will have significantly changed, but in-between I’ll not be updating this one.

      About sales equivalence logic, I suggest you to read this introduction article.

  2. Hello dear MJD and Hernàn, I am curious to know which artist or group you analyze this week.
    Answer me please, I am very curious !!!

  3. HI MJD

    since you wrote this article.

    A Head Full of Dreams

    UK : 3x Platinum (900,000)
    New Zealand : Platinum (15,000)
    Poland : 2x Platinum (40,000)
    France : 3x Platinum (300,000)

    1. Hello Sambuu,

      You need to take into account that those certifications involve a huge amount (25-50% of the total) of streaming, thus you are double-counting their numbers by sticking with them.

  4. i love Coldplay!
    Caught them last night in concert in Manila.
    What an experience!
    They are are definitely one of the BEST bands out there!

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