CSPC: Coldplay Popularity Analysis [UPDATED]

Coldplay

Digital Singles Sales – Part 1

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

Parachutes (2000) – 1,290,000 equivalent albums

Shiver – 600,000
Yellow – 4,500,000
Trouble – 1,150,000
Don’t Panic – 700,000
Remaining Songs – 1,650,000

A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) – 1,980,000 equivalent albums

In My Place – 1,050,000
The Scientist – 4,500,000
Clocks – 5,250,000
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face – 400,000
Remaining Songs – 2,000,000

X&Y (2005) – 2,010,000 equivalent albums

Speed Of Sound – 3,050,000
Fix You – 5,300,000
Talk – 1,850,000
The Hardest Part – 800,000
Remaining Songs – 2,400,000

Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends (2008) – 2,955,000 equivalent albums

Violet Hill – 2,150,000
Viva La Vida– 12,100,000
Lovers In Japan – 600,000
Lost! – 1,750,000
Life In Technicolor II – 1,100,000
Remaining Songs – 2,000,000

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, the fact no album really destroys the competition anymore is due to the distribution of the consumption in the digital World. In the past, we used to heavily concentrate our music purchases into a dozen of albums per year. Nowadays, instead of buying a few records, we listen to thousands of tracks.

As shown by their early years, Coldplay never managed to be a big selling physical singles act, selling albums instead. This singles / albums acts separation doesn’t exist anymore with digital sales. The band moved truly huge numbers in tracks downloads from the very first days of iTunes. On the back of catalog sales alone, at least one song from her of their first three albums sold 4,5 million or more. The band isn’t about one hit only though, songs from those albums sold past 35 million downloads cumulatively.

Then came the album Viva La Vida which got released when digital sales were booming. The title track was absolutely massive, selling over 12 million units to date. Remaining songs push the album total of singles sales to almost 20 million downloads and ringtones.

15 thoughts on “CSPC: Coldplay Popularity Analysis [UPDATED]”

  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!
    Kudos!

  5. Thanks for updating Coldplay, you only counted pure album sales in Original album sales ?

    I Have few question

    1. Why you missed some countries ? (Portugal, Denmark, Hungary)
    I know these countries not big as UK or US. But Coldplay is one biggest act of Europe. Maybe you should include

    2. Your first article : Coldplay sold 83M equivalent album units, now 80M. But i think they’re already reached 90M. Because of success of 2016 (A Head Full of Dreams sales + Hymn + Adventure success). At the during Coldplay headlining Super Bowl, big newspapers are saying Coldplay has sold 80M records in worldwide.

    3. How can you determine digital album and singles sales?

    4. You can see this document (As April 2017)

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx-9l-dnxzImaGQ1bHIyOTNiU3c

    1. Hi Sambuu,

      0) Original album sales is indeed pure album sales – physical copies shipped + downloads. No streaming involved.

      1) The template is fixed, at times I add some countries like South Korea when it brings new information, but for Europe the listed countries are always the same ones for all artists. It doesn’t mean Portugal or Denmark are ignored, if you check the Europe total and add the 10 countries listed, you will see there is additional sales factored in for those unlisted markets.

      2) There is no way they are up to 90m. Please check the comment I posted just before yours which explains the lower figures. Both IFPI figures and Coldplay’s own details prove their sales in various small countries aren’t as big as first expected.

      3) There is no need to estimate download album sales as they are already included in album sales of all countries. Digital singles are estimated just like albums with figures from all the main markets, although details aren’t posted since it would be way too heavy/long to post.

      4) The issue there is the mix of formats. I take off streaming from all albums / singles sales since I add it by itself in one specific category, so you can’t add simply certifications for the other categories. For example, the huge majority of “sales” from last era awards in Italy are due to streaming.

  6. Hi MJD!

    Looking back at this article, I found that you made a calculation mistake. On page 7 of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends album sales breakdown, you have the Asian total at 520,000 but the markets you’ve listed add up to 580,000.

    By the way, you’ve mentioned in your article that Coldplay adds 3-5 million album sales equivalents per year. Are you sure that’s not an exaggeration? That would mean they’ll break the 100m mark in no more than 7 years! Also, which 2000s’ act has the better catalog showing, Coldplay or Eminem? Both of them have massive streams for their past albums.

  7. Today, I seeing the United World Chart (Global Chart) website reports that “A Head Full of Dreams” (Coldplay) has sold 4,369,000 copies worldwide, but your site claims to have sold 3,450,000 copies worldwide. How is this difference between your site and the other?

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