Bonus Gift: The truth about Britney Spears’ album sales – Part 3

English Speaking countries – UK

As mentioned in previous articles, intervals of certifications are much less useful when figures for the related country are already pretty much under control. This is the case with sales from the UK. Thanks to the OCC data, we can see that estimates fall always in the correct ballpark except when the album went on to sell a bit more afterwards.

So, what do we really know about Britney‘s albums sales in the UK? Baby One More Time (BOMT) moved 1,048,000 copies by the end of 2000. By March of that year it was awarded a third Platinum certification for 900,000 units which is fairly logical. The album sold decently from 2001 to 2004, with the singer remaining popular and no compilation blocking it. Her Greatest Hits was issued at the end of that year, killing the sales of her studio albums. Obviously, BOMT shot to #53 in January 2005, but it was precisely thanks to heavy promotions to clear copies left on shelves now that the dark horse of her catalog was the new best of album. On the positive side for her studio albums, Oops sold 823,000 copies by the end of 2001.

By the release of Blackout, the OCC revealed the diva had sold 4,001,000 albums in the UK. It included 42,000 units from the first week of that 2007 set, 456,000 units from Britney and 527,000 copies from In The Zone. Greatest Hits had sold 840,000 units by June 2007 and remained selling 1,000 copies per week until the arrival of Blackout. Putting all the figures together, we reach below scanned sales by November 2007:

  • Baby One More Time – 1,210,000
  • Oops!… I did It Again – 900,000
  • Britney – 456,000
  • In The Zone – 527,000
  • Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 860,000
  • Blackout – 42,000
  • Other releases – 6,000

Those figures are highly interesting. By then, BOMT was still 3xP as per the BPI while Britney.com was already showing it as a 4xP album, which confirms again the validity of this source. In the same way, Greatest Hits, which made 3xP by 2013 when auto-certifications have been introduced, was shown as 2xP in Britney.com listing. This is fully correct too as with 860,000 sales it still had to sell some more copies before breaking the 900,000 units plateau.

What about the albums that released afterwards? Blackout sold 263,000 units by the end of 2008 and still hasn’t broken Platinum status (as confirmed by the BPI). Circus was up to 344,000 by the end of 2009. The Singles Collection had sold 78,000 units by January 2011 and over 100,000 by 2013.

We must say that apart from compilations, Britney‘s catalog sales are dreadful. From 2007 to 2016, In The Zone sold a mere 7,000 copies in spite of containing the biggest catalog hits of the pop star. The Britney album sold 4,000 copies in the same time frame.

A last important comment to make is, all those figures come from the OCC, which isn’t 100% accurate. Oops shifted roughly 850,000 copies by November 2002 when it got certified 3xP. Obviously a few copies shipped were still on retailers shelves, but considering the album’s promotion was long over, there was clearly less than 50,000 copies remaining on store shelves. This means figures from OCC are a bit too low for her earlier albums.

Merging all the data together concludes on the following total album sales to date:

  • Baby One More Time – 1,260,000
  • Oops!… I did It Again – 950,000
  • Britney – 475,000
  • In The Zone – 550,000
  • Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 1,025,000
  • Blackout – 300,000
  • Circus – 380,000
  • The Singles Collection – 175,000

19 thoughts on “Bonus Gift: The truth about Britney Spears’ album sales – Part 3”

  1. Oh wow, thank you so much for this, MJD! I’m very pleased to see that all of her albums have increased in Europe, with the exception of “In The Zone” and “The Singles Collection”. I always had a feeling that “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative” and “Circus” were both eligible for 2x Platinum and 1x Platinum respectively, and I’m glad the figures on Britney.com confirm that!

    Now regarding her sales, there are some very impressive results here, particularly her sales in Belgium, Russia, Switzerland, etc. Her sales in France are also very impressive compared to her peers, with even her 3rd album (“Britney”) outselling Christina Aguilera’s entire discography, including soundtracks and compilation albums!

    I think as far as the big markets go, her sales are impressive everywhere, except in the UK and Italy. Don’t get me wrong, she has great sales in those countries as well, but Oops!… I Did It Again selling 950k units in the UK is not as impressive as selling nearly 1 million units in Germany, and …Baby One More Time selling 200k units Italy is definitely not as impressive as selling nearly 200k units in Belgium.

    Overall I’d say she’s done great in Europe, at least up until 2009. Once again, thank you so much for doing these articles! As a huge Britney fan, I’ve always wanted to know her sales even in the smallest countries like Hungary and Czech Republic, so this detailed information is very helpful. I assume the next part will focus on Oceania and South Africa, right? Looking forward to that one!

    By the way, do you know the sales for B In The Mix 1 & 2 in Europe and Asia? I assume they didn’t sell much, but it’d be nice to add up those sales as well.

  2. Hi again MJD. When you update Britney’s CSPC article, can you please add an extra page for Greatest Hits: My Prerogative? I see that a lot of figures for this compilation have changed so the breakdown you have posted under the comment section is no longer accurate.

    Thanks! 🙂

  3. Amazing, thanks so much 😀 Cant wait for the updated CSPC article with these new figures. When can we expect that one?

  4. A long time ago this was posted on Ukmix forums, I assume it was fake as the information provided here is different

    Italy albums

    3x platinum
    Baby one more time – 300,000

    2x platinum
    Oops! I did it again – 200,000
    Greatest hits my prerogative – 160,000

    Platinum
    Britney – 100,000
    In the zone – 100,000

    Gold
    Blackout – 35,000/40,000 (depends when it got the certification)
    Circus – 35,000

    Do you know anything about this? And GREAT job with this part of the article!

    1. Hi Bree!

      I expect those “certifications” to come from Frankie. I had words with him many years ago but he was always stating his estimations in “certifications equivalent”, which was very misleading, and still is to this day!

      And thanks 😉

  5. Wonderful. Thank you for putting all these figures together for us. The Britney Army appreciates your hard work! 🙂

  6. Hi! How much has Britney sold in total in EU including all studio, greatest hits and remix albums? Thanks!

  7. Hi MJD! Really enjoyed reading through all 24 pages. Britney does have some great sales in Europe! How would you say she compares to her peers, like Xtina, Backstreet Boys, Beyonce/Destiny’s Child, Avril Lavigne, and *NSYNC?

    Also, what countries will be covered in the final part of the series? Are WW totals going to be included?

    Keep up the great work. 😉

    1. Hi Trish!

      From her generation, I can think only of Coldplay and Eminem sold more in Europe. She is on par with the BSB and the combo DCs / Beyonce if we put them together, but then she easily outsold all the remaining ones you mention, likely even combined.

  8. Hi again MJD! So I just came across these certifications from Greece…

    “In The Zone” got certified Gold in 2004 for 10,000 units shipped (https://web.archive.org/web/20040605194410/http://www.ifpi.gr/chart01.htm)

    “Greatest Hits: My Prerogative” got certified Gold in 2004 for 10,000 units shipped (https://web.archive.org/web/20050204045617/http://www.ifpi.gr/chart01.htm)

    “Circus” got certified Gold in March 2009 for 7,500 units shipped (https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1592801#p1592801)

    These certification come from the IFPI, so I assume they’re legit? What do you think about these? I find it odd that Britney.com didn’t include them

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