CSPC: Coldplay Popularity Analysis [UPDATED]



So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Coldplay album achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from X&Y released in digital format sold the equivalent of 2,010,000 albums – 13,400,000 downloads with a 10 to 1 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 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)

At current pace, during 2018 year A Rush of Blood to the Head will add roughly 150,000 album sales from pure album format, over 100,000 from download sales and a huge 500,000 units thanks to streams.

The current totals of all Coldplay‘s albums are already superb. Mylo Xyloto eclipsed the 10 million equivalent album sales to join its four predecessors which are led by the iconic 2002 blockbuster at 18 million. Their last two efforts are both over 6 million with A Head Full Of Dreams already edging over Ghost Stories. The big deal of their catalog is how incredibly popular it remains still. I mentioned A Rush Of Blood to the Head likely powering 750,000 new units within’ a calendar year, but this situation is true for all their records. Well past its peak, a song like Hymn For the Weekend is currently registering streams worth 5,000 album sales every week. Coldplay‘s catalog is a real gold mine, granting them from now on an easy 3 to 5 million equivalent album sales every year even with no new release.

In total, they already sold a combined 85 million equivalent album units. The question is, when will they break the 100 million mark? With one more successful album and a streaming market that continues to grow, getting there by as early as 2020 is likely.

The following pages list the most successful songs by Coldplay. Do not forget to check our amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge their position in the history of the music industry.

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

Sources: IFPI, EMI, Spotify, YouTube, Chartmasters.org.

17 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!

  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)


    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?

  8. Hello Mr. Viera

    I wanted to ask: why do you have Mexican sales of the Viva la Vida album at 85,000 when AMPROFON has certified the album 2x Diamond+4xPlatinum for 1,200,000 copies in the “Full Album Preloaded” caregory?
    Why is the AMPROFON number so high?


    1. Hi Mauricio!

      I decided to exclude preloaded sales as they aren’t legitimate, they don’t reflect the success of an album / artist. Those awards refer to smartphones sold with the album included on them. Nobody buy a smartphone because of some songs present on it. Allowing those sales would be like arguying the Microsoft Solitaire is the best selling game of all-time just because it features on computers with Windows!

      PS: in Portuguese it’s Vieira rather than Viera 😉

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