CSPC: Britney Spears Popularity Analysis (new)

Original Albums Sales

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "britney spears britney album"

Britney (2001)
  • America
    • US – 5,200,000
    • Canada – 400,000
    • Argentina – 50,000
    • Brazil – 140,000
    • Mexico – 250,000
    • Venezuela – 50,000
    • Chile – 25,000
  • Asia – 1,540,000
    • Japan – 525,000
    • South Korea – 310,000
    • Taiwan – 40,000
    • Hong Kong – 25,000
    • Philippines – 115,000
    • Indonesia – 180,000
    • Malaysia – 50,000
    • Thailand – 155,000
    • Singapore – 30,000
    • India – 35,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 160,000
    • New Zealand – 15,000
  • Africa
    • South Africa – 25,000
  • Europe – 2,170,000
    • UK – 475,000
    • France – 415,000
    • Germany – 375,000
    • Italy – 100,000
    • Spain – 150,000
    • Sweden – 70,000
    • Netherlands – 60,000
    • Switzerland – 65,000
    • Austria – 50,000
    • Finland – 15,000
    • Ireland – 45,000
    • Portugal – 40,000
    • Greece – 12,500
    • Turkey – 15,000
    • Belgium – 65,000
    • Czech Republic – 17,5000
    • Hungary – 22,000
    • Poland – 30,000
    • Denmark – 50,000
    • Norway – 30,000
    • Russia – 30,000
  • World – 10,105,000

NB: N/A means no specific number is available. Sales from the country are still accounted for in the Worldwide estimate by using figure patterns of both the artist and the country market. Countries not displayed in this fixed panel are factored in also.

72 thoughts on “CSPC: Britney Spears Popularity Analysis (new)”

  1. Hi MJD! I just finished reading through all pages and this is great! Although I do have a few questions

    1. What caused “Femme Fatale” to drop to 1.66 million pure sales? I thought 1.7 million was the official figure from the IFPI?

    IFPI Top 50 Albums Of 2011:

    24 Femme Fatale 1.7 million

    2. In page 3, we see “Glory” at 375,000 units, but page 12 says 370,000, I know it’s a minimal difference, but I couldn’t help but ask, which figure is the correct one? 😛

    3. Regarding the “Circus” single, I’ve always felt like 5.5 million downloads/ringtones is a bit too low. The IFPI confirmed it sold 5.5 million units by November 2009, and U.S. digital sales were only around 2.5 million a month later in December 2009 (http://prince.org/msg/8/327160?jump=7&pg=1). Last summer, Billboard confirmed it’s up to 3.2 million downloads in the U.S., so 5.5 million + 700,000 = 6.2 million, correct? Additionally it has sold around 45,000 in South Korea and 45,000 in the UK since 2010, so I feel like 6.5 million is a pretty reasonable figure as the song was a very nice hit in Australia and Canada as well!

    4. Lastly, do the total album sales in page 31 include everything? Like for example, “Femme Fatale” in Belgium even though it’s not listed in its own page? And the remix albums as well? How much do you estimate for “B In The Mix” in Japan? I know it did better than “Britney Jean” and “Glory” there so maybe around 30-35,000 units?

    Again, thank you so much for doing this, it’s really appreciated! I love that you included pages that weren’t part of the original article (such as Total Album Sales and Biggest Tracks).

    1. Hi Stephen!

      You are most welcome, I always wonder who between you and Raffi will comment first on each CSPC articles, you won that battle ;p

      1) Actually all figures were simply rounded at the closest 100k! Also, sales outside of known markets were estimated with the ratios verified on the details of previous articles. The IFPI rounds its figures too – in fact Kanye & Jay-Z were #19 and on 1,7m too as per Universal Annual Report! Plus, I’m quite sure 2012 shipments were negative for this album.

      2) Haha, sorry, pure typo, as shown in screen shots it is 370,000! 😉

      3) You are fully correct! It’s funny since I had exactly the same reasonning last year, which is why it was on 6,2 million. This afternoon when I re-did all breakdowns I wondered why my old estimate was 700k higher than the calculation implied by formulas, forgot about that IFPI figure so I have let it as it was with the formula. I have a total of 4,59m for it in US/CA/SK/UK/GE/FR/OZ/NL, including ringtones for the US (assumed on 20%, so 640k). It seems that song was especially big in ringtones somewhere in Latin America or in Asia!

      4) Almost yes, I have fill the holes to get full figures for all countries. Playlist / Best Of / The Essential are the only ones not added to individual countries but are included in the WW total! I avoided explaining it in the article since those are very minor sellers (275k combined) so it was better to not get into those details that would have misled non-regular readers rather than brining anything!

      1. I was really looking forward to this update so I was pretty quick. At least I didn’t ask that many questions though! 😛

        And that explains it! Glad that you changed “Circus” to 6.5 million as imo it’s the most reasonable total. I heard “Womanizer” and “Circus” were both huge hits in South Korea, but unfortunately GAON didn’t start reporting figures until 2010, so that might be why.

        1. It is good that you haven’t asked too many questions it means my figures should be valid 😉

          Yes very good point about South Korea, this market shouldn’t be overlooked. In 2009 the digital market was already worth $92,7 million including 48% for downloads. As a comparison, in 2011 the market was $108,3 million with 43% for downloads. It means only a 4% gap between both years for downloads, while we know that even the #100 of the year in 2011 for international tracks was over 200,000 units sold!

          1. babe where did u get these infos from wtf all of them are fake why yall want to drag britney down baby sold 30M ww and oops sold over 25M ww Britney sold 15M www ect even BJ sold 1,5M ww with streams she’s also the last artist who sold over 100M albums even billboard says that pls do some research before u write articles ppl beilive this shit

          2. Hi Yoy_bitch,

            Of course people believe this shit because they are educated enough on charts & sales subject to know it’s the real deal 😉

            All figures of Britney are as accurate as they can be since Jive has been communicating detailed information on per-country basis as well as constantly updating her count of albums sold to date at each new album release. No need to say the real figures are nowhere near the Wikipedia-like figures you state!

  2. Hi MJD,

    Did “Everytime” really sell only 30,000 physical copies? In the original analysis you had it at 750,000.

    1. Hi Cbvnm!

      Stephen got it right, those lines:
      Outrageous – 630,000
      Everytime – 30,000

      Should be instead:
      Everytime – 630,000
      Outrageous – 30,000

      Now fixed 😉

  3. Hi again MJD! I have a couple more things to add/ask

    “Femme Fatale” had a much better chart run than “Circus” in Norway, Finland and Portugal

    Femme Fatale: 
    Finland: 08-07-21-19-30-42-36-45-//-50-//-45-34-48-39-35-43-36-32-35-30-35-29-27-24-44-38-OUT (25 weeks)
    Norway: 03-03-08-14-12-16-19-16-17-//-19-//-19-//-24-OUT (12 weeks, including 11 inside the top 20 and two inside the top 3)
    Portugal: 04-11-17-28-OUT (4 weeks, nothing special, but still far better than “Blackout” and “Circus”).

    Finland: 19-24-24-23-19-16-40-OUT (7 weeks)
    Norway: 21-32-38-37-34-OUT (5 weeks)
    Portugal: 28-30-OUT (2 weeks)

    I’m aware that “Femme Fatale” came out in March 2011 while “Circus” came out in December 2008, but still, “Femme Fatale” had much, much better chart runs in those three countries, in fact, her best since “Oops!… I Did It Again”. Also, according to this link (https://web.archive.org/web/20110703060455/http://www.artistas-espectaculos.com/topafp/pt/201114.htm), Femme Fatale is certified Platinum in Portugal, is this accurate? How much do you estimate for “Femme Fatale” in Norway, Finland, and Portugal? I feel like it might be eligible for gold in Norway and Finland, outselling “Circus” and “Blackout” in those countries!

    Speaking of “Femme Fatale”, it also had a very nice chart run in Belgium
    Flanders: 08-11-17-26-39-35-35-46-67-57-80-70-88-78-89-85-84-83-86-94-97-//-97-//-59-50-91-OUT (25 weeks)
    Wallonia: 08-05-06-16-16-20-31-36-44-46-41-71-49-38-40-36-33-42-42-37-34-41-48-39-66-72-60-47-29-22-62-71-93-OUT (33 weeks)

    How much do you estimate for the album in Belgium? It had a much, much better chart run than “Blackout” there, in fact, it even charted for more weeks than “In The Zone”. I’d love to see your estimates for “Femme Fatale”, “Britney jean” and “Glory” in Belgium as it’s definitely her most supportive European market in my opinion.

    I also wanted to ask, do you think Glory selling 370,000 in August 2016 is better than Britney Jean selling 630,000 in December 2013? I know both “Britney Jean” and “Glory” bombed, but I can’t help but wonder if “Glory” would’ve outsold or at least matched “Britney Jean” if it was released in December 2013. In terms of CSPC, “Britney Jean” is still higher. But like most pre-2000 divas, Britney is hardly a big streaming artist and most of her CSPC comes from pure album sales and digital downloads, both of which have dropped tremendously since 2013. I know album sales have dropped by nearly 50% in the U.S. since 2013 and digital sales have been extremely low over the past year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Stephen!

      All answers below 🙂

      1) Portugal ) As you can guess, the Platinum award is a typo, it was indeed Mariza’s Fado Tradicional one spot lower that was the Platinum album. The market is dead there, under 5 million albums per year by 2011 with a few local acts taking over the largest part of it. Mariza is a good example of that with albums spending 100+ weeks on charts, 10+ weeks #1 and still selling 3-50,000 units only. Femme Fatale sold likely about 2,000 copies there.
      2) Norway / Finland) Just like Sweden, those countries jumped into streaming way before the rest of the World and started using SPS for their ranking many years ago, which is why it seems that FF did very well there thanks to the success of the singles. Thus, to estimate sales you need to focus on very first weeks when they still happen (just like More Life by Drake has now near to 0 sale, only streams). The week she debuted at #8, there was an all new Top 3. The #1 album by Anna Abreu sold under 12k in spite of 5 weeks top 10, albums which debuted at 2/3 failed to break 10k. It was a 5m market too so going 8-7-21-19-30-42 on the period that matters represents roughly 3,000 units. Norway was a bit bigger at 7 million albums sold in 2011, with a better run too so possibly 5-6,000 units.
      3) The negative part here is that Flanders is easily bigger than Wallonia. It was weaker there than in France, on a 6 times lower market – it sold 90,000 in France. Realistically some 10,000 units have been sold on this country, so it should have come at least very close from Gold status. I would say about 4,500 and 3,000 units for the last two albums.
      4) Glory is definitely worse than Britney Jean, which is logical because of her trajectory. The drop in sales of the global market is not a valid argument since the huge majority of purchasers for both albums are not casual buyers but instead fans. Losing 40% of sales when the bulk of buyers are fans is a harsh drop which shows her fan base is being crippled!

      1. Thank you for your answer, MJD! One last night, the Indonesian album sales add up to 1,100,000

        Baby One More Time – 325,000
        Oops!… I did It Again – 245,000
        Britney – 180,000
        In The Zone – 160,000
        Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 135,000
        Blackout – 20,000
        Circus – 25,000
        The Singles Collection – 10,000

        However page 31 says 1,025,000. I’m assuming you meant 1,125,000, right? 😛

  4. hi MJD!
    So do you think britney’s commercial performance can be better when she release next album? what is the most important thing she should do now if she want to come back with a better commercial performance?I’d love to hear what you think,thank you!

    1. Hi Max!

      To be honest the only way I see her selling better again is getting rid of pop / electro music and going into the Adult Contemporary territory. I’m not quite sure she is ready for that!

  5. The singles from Britney’s last album could’ve been played on AC radios, they now play Justin Bieber and Maroon5. Gone are the days when they only played torch songs and divas, unfortunately.

  6. I’m happy that Britney is one of the best selling female artists in history.

    Can you make an analysis for Nana Mouskouri?

  7. Hey MJD,

    Thanks for all the info, but are you planning on updating Rihanna’s sales anytime soon, it’s been a year and her album and single sales from her last album have gone up.

    1. Hi Brianna!

      Rihanna is definitely one of the most needed updates. The massive Streaming acts – Drake, Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber & Rihanna – are screaming for it. It should be done soon 😉

  8. I’d still like to know where the extra two million in US sales for BOMT comes from. Soundscan and BMG together brings the album to 12 million, yet the RIAA certification is 14x platinim. If BOMT wasn’t available on Columbia House, then where does the two extra million come from?

    1. Hi Jase,

      BOMT was available at Columbia House. In 1998 / 1999, they were still having big sales, it collapsed completely in 2000 as BMG Music Club started to gain exclusive deals for all hot new releases during several months. That’s why albums by Mariah, Celine, Aguilera or Britney had immense sales on Columbia at first while all big sellers, Eminem included, sold close to nothing on Columbia House starting from 2000.

  9. Hi MJD!

    Sorry it took me so long to comment. I just finished my exam finals

    Regarding this new update on Britney, I have to say this is absolutely fantastic! It’s much more informative than the previous article. I love the more detailed breakdown of her album sales and physical single sales!

    I’ve also noticed that you’ve increased Toxic and BOMT digital downloads by 50K each! Although a minimal difference, I thought Toxic was by far Britney’s biggest recurrent hit. In fact, I think Toxic sells much more than just 50K per year in the US alone! Do you mind explaining how you update digital downloads?

    I would also like to ask you on Britney’s biggest song! On the second last page, you’ve listed BOMT, OIDIA and Toxic as her 3 most successful songs. However, based on the market, can we say that Toxic at 7,5m in 2003/2004 when the market started to collapse ,is more impressive than 12,2m for OIDIA, or even 17,9m for BOMT in 1999/2000 when the market was at it’s peak? I even notice that Toxic has the same amount of sales equivalent as Crazy in Love by Beyonce, and that song was a monster!

    Also, I must say that Britney’s streaming numbers for her new materials (Glory, Britney Jean) is very low. They’re even eclipsed by In The Zone and BOMT, albums released a full decade before! Does this show that her catalog is doing amazing numbers, or that she’s preforming poorly with her latest music?

    Lastly, although I don’t want to start a fan war, I’ve heard lots of Janet Jackson fans defending her lower album sales equivalents than Britney because the latter released more albums at her peak and during the peak of the music industry. How do you view this MJD? I agree that had Janet released 1/2 more albums during her golden years, she would be closer to Britney, but I still think that Britney had the bigger career. Sure, Britney enjoyed the biggest years of the music market, but it’s not like Janet was enjoying a much less healthy market. Also, Britney’s peak was much bigger, 30m+ in 1999 compared to 19m+ in 1993.

    That’s all i have to ask! Your article is pretty flawless and i find no mistakes in it! Keep up the good work!

    1. No disrespect to Janet, however, the market doesn’t favor Britney, it actually favors Janet for the most part. Janet released her 9th studio album in 2006. Britney released her 9th studio album in 2016. Janet released her 7th studio album in 2001, Britney released her 7th studio album in 2011. Janet released her 8th studio album in 2004, Britney released her 8th studio album in 2013. Janet released her 6th studio album in 1997, Britney released her 6th studio album in 2008. Janet released her 5th studio album in 1993, Britney released her 5th studio album in 2007. Britney may have peaked during the peak of album sales, but half of her discography was released during the digital/streaming era, while Janet released most of her albums when the album market was a lot healthier.

      Plus, Janet peaked in the early/mid 1990s and all her female peers (Madonna, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Shania Twain, etc) were pulling HUGE 20-30 million selling albums at the time, while Janet’s best selling album barely sold 12 million. It’s clear that Britney has the bigger career. Again, this doesn’t mean Janet wasn’t big nor I’m trying to discredit her.

    2. Why would Janet fans be worried about this? She’s a legend and that will be further confirmed with her eventual induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (She easily has a better critically reviewed catalog than peers that sold more like Whitney, Mariah and Celine.)

      Britney should be compared with her peers like Beyonce, P!nk and Christina Aguilera

    3. Hi Raffi!

      About downloads, it is a combination of small factors. I slightly reduced its UK sales due to streaming being bigger than I first expected. Then there is rounds that at under 20k / over 20k creates a +50k when in reality it is +100k. At last, there is a market collapsing for good. In fact Toxic doesn’t sell much more than 50k nowadays. As per market figures, a song that was selling 200,000 units per year as recently as in 2012 is now well below 100,000. If you check Kworb figures, Toxic has rarely been Top 1000 lately and songs at the bottom of the list do not even sell 1,000 units nowadays. In the UK for example the song is now below 100 copies per week.

      Gaps are too big among her Top 3 songs to reverse the order with the market. In 2003, it was far from being bad. In the US, the overall market was worth $13,7 billion in 1998 and $12,15 billion in 2004. Album sales went down from 847 million to 767 million. As you can see the drop of the music industry was just starting with an overall situation that was still fairly good.

      About streaming, I would say a bit of both. Her catalog isn’t going too bad in comparison to her catalog album sales, while her new material is truly doing bad. There is tons of independent artists that even music enthusiasts never heard about that are outperforming Glory with ease.

      As for Janet / Britney comparison, if we check US market combined from years of their top 6 albums since they are by far the main providers of their respective CSPC total, Janet environment was a $60 billion market while the one of Britney was a $68 billion market. We need to add that Janet enjoyed 15 years of catalog sales with a $12 billion industry per year while Britney’s 15 years of catalog sales happened on a market which averaged under $9 billion. Thus, both had very similar backgrounds, Britney has a higher CSPC total simply because she has been more successful. That’s quite normal since they were similarly big in the US but Britney has a massive lead elsewhere. In the same category, Janet leading Rihanna for example is entirely due to the market environment being better during Janet years, although the new 1,5:10 ratio for digital singles fixes a good part of that gap!

    1. I thought the 7,5m of Toxic on page 33 refered to it’s share of sales on studio albums (ITZ for this case) and compilations, combined with it’s physical singles sales (*0.3), downloads (*0.1) and streams in appropriate weighting? Isn’t it?

      Regarding my comparison with Crazy In Love by Beyonce, I vaguely remember the same formula was applied in the Beyonce article and that song was at 7,6m album sales equivalents. Here: http://chartmasters.org/2016/12/cspc-beyonce-destinys-child-popularity-analysis/30/

    1. Hi Marcus,

      As you can see within’ the articles breakdowns, I do not use SPS from various countries, I focus on the raw data only, building totals for each distinct format. Then, at the end, I apply the CSPC own formula using those raw data figures as the basis.

  10. Hi again MJD! I just noticed that Britney’s total got updated to 99.8 million. That’s brilliant. She’s definitely going to join the 100 million club later this year!

    Btw, I wanted to ask you another question. Are you sure “Femme Fatale” only sold 40k in Asia excluding Japan? I’m asking because I was just looking at your Demi Lovato article and I noticed you estimated 80k for her self-titled album released in 2013, which only did 10k in Japan. How did you get 70k for the rest of Asia? Britney is clearly much bigger in Asia than Demi, and “Femme Fatale” was bigger than every Demi album in every continent. Also, if Demi’s sales in Japan and South Korea are anything to go by, her sales are almost non-existent in the Asian continent. Not saying you’re wrong or anything, but I’m just curious about this. How come Demi sold 70k outside of Japan, but Britney only did 40k with a much bigger album? Anyway, thank you again!

    1. Hi Stephen!

      The case of Demi is very tricky for one simple reason – Let It Go. This song was utterly massive in Asia and added to Demi album international version. Then she was still a relatively “new” Disney act in the Asian countries highly favorable to them like the Philippines, where Unbroken sold roughly 10,000 units. Thanks to both elements, especially the Let It Go case, it sold low but steady amounts during 2 years, ending Gold in the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia and Platinum in Malaysia and Indonesia, certifications adding for 42,500 units.

  11. Okay now I really don’t understand this method

    Britney was 96.9 million

    Then she was 95 million

    And now she is 99 million all within the space of 8 months???

    Sorry but now it’s confusing

    1. 96.9M was with Spotify, no Youtube, her old physical single sales and old album sales.

      He changed the formula to weight down Spotify, add Youtube for everyone and updated her album sales and physical singles sales (they went down). Result = 95,8M.

      And now he changed the weight of digital single sales and upped it. So naturally Britney, having 80M digital song sales will get a nice boost.
      80*(1.5/10) – 80*(1/10) = 4M
      95,8 + 4M = 99,8M

    2. Hi Nigel!

      As explained by but, this very last update includes no change at all on all figures. The raw data numbers (albums / singles sales, streams etc) are the same.

      The change is only made on the final CSPC formula to establish the overall popularity of the artist, with the ratio of download singles increased by 50% after studying its prices and its impacts on album sales. This enables the final popularity indicator (for Britney 99,8m) to be more loyal to the artist real popularity independently of its era rather than penalizing strongly stars from the digital era.

  12. *This brings also the answer about Blackout. Many fans denied the album was a flop, arguing about the different market. Those figures show sales weren’t translated to some other format, it was just truly unsuccessful, just like Britney Jean.*

    Blackout sold 4.4 millon equivalent albums, a very decent number for an album without promo and just two singles.

    Britney has 7 studio albums with more of 4 million equivalent albums. That is very impressive. She was more than a super star with a massive peak.

  13. Mjd, why you subestimed Britney success? She sold 22 million albums equivalent between 2007 and 2013, and she debuted in 1998. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga arent still a decade in the industry, and they cant sell two million albums equivalents. And they do a lot of promo. Imagine if Britney hadnt had personal problems…

  14. Porque você não soma as coletâneas na hora de somar o total CSPC?

    o total da britney ta como 99,833. Mas esse numero não soma as vendas físicas do my prerrogative.

    1. Hi Lucas,

      Compilations are already counted on that 99,8m total. They are represented under the “other releases” column of the final table.

    1. Hi Mathew,

      Sony Picture is not Sony Music. The last official statement from Sony Music is “close to 70m” by 2011 and she sold a few millions only since that date. All 100-ish million claims are completely delusional considering how much off the mark they are.

      1. that article is from 2013 which is more recent than 2011. her record label RCA is under SONY, so that article stating she sold close 100 million is accurate. It is an OFFICIAL Press Release from the company that owns her record label. Her company that OWNS her record label wouldn’t release inaccurate information . I think you are not that fond of Britney so when there are official and valid receipts from Sony proving you wrong, you don’t want to accept them. You are using outdated receipts from 2011 that were using outdated information, how about you use that 2013 press release from her company that states she DID sell close 100 million.

        1. Hi Alex,

          Obviously your claim is nowhere near being accurate nor official. Sony is divided into distinct companies, Sony Pictures and Sony Music are completely different. Their annual reports are done seperately and they aren’t responsible for royalties payments of each other.

          Repeating the fanciful 100m albums sold figure won’t make it true. All facts show she hasn’t even come close to that. By repeating this nonsense, you are only doing two things:
          1) highlighting that you have no knowledge whatsoever on the subject, which instantly discredit you
          2) diminishing the real accomplishments of Britney, which are already huge without requiring absurd inflations. By doing so, when people look for accurate data, they end up disappointed with the truth, while they should be impressed. That “Army fight” for inflation has been damaging her more than anything since a decade, so I guess it is time to stop that lost case and be supportive in a more realistic and clever way.

          1. I love Britney Spears, and I really wish she would’ve sold 100 million albums. However, the claim of selling 100 million albums is so overblown. The most she would’ve sold is probably 80 million and probably 150 million albums and singles. 150 million copies is already a huge achievement and correct me if im wrong, is still the best seller among female singers after Madonna, Celine, Whitney and Mariah.

  15. Hey again MJD! Sorry for bothering you for the 100th time, but I was going through “Music & Media” magazine issues and came across this ad from Jive, stating “…Baby One More Time” sold 20,000,000 albums and 11,000,000 singles in 1999. What do you think of this?

    “In 1999 “Baby One More Time” sold over 20 million albums and 11 million singles worldwide.
    At the age of just 17 she became the No.1 selling teen female artist in US music history”

    (pages 25 & 26)

    All of From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart’s sales come from 2000 since it wasn’t released physically until February 2000 and most of Born To Make You Happy’s sales too (it was released in at the start of December 1999 in German speaking countries and then in January 2000 in the rest of Europe, including the UK where it sold 350,000+ copies), so the 11,000,000 figure wouldn’t even include From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart.

    You estimated 9,730,000 physical singles for the era, which figure is more accurate? Thank you!

    1. Hi Stephen!

      No risk of bothering me when you post data aiming for accuracy 🙂

      By experience, those ads weren’t *that* strict with their claim. The numbers are correct more often than not, the real question is what do they concern exactly?

      Among usual tricks to misled people are the known ones like speaking in discs instead of albums for double packages. Another which relates to Britney is mixing different supports with the same name together. They won’t hesitate claiming “the album Baby One More Time sold 27 units” adding 22 million copies of the album plus 5 million copies of the title-track that were, by extension, sold “by the album BOMT” as it was a single extracted from that era. Sony used this trick extensively with Michael Jackson’s Thriller too.

      On this concrete example from M&M, it is really safe to say 1999 shouldn’t be taken literally. You need to understand “in 1999 the release of the album….” rather than “during 1999”. The single BOMT sold most of its US copies in 1998 and as you say, various singles sold well in early 2000 here and there.

      The only real doubt is on Oops single being accounted for on that 11 million figure or not. It wouldn’t be the first time that a major voluntarily starts speaking of a precise subject and then enlarge it to make a very misleading claim. For example, they will say “The Beatles released 13 albums, they sold over 600 million records”. The “13 albums” fact relates to the act “The Beatles” while the “600 million” figure refers to the members of the band as a whole, e.g. the band discs plus all their solo discographies. That “scope extension” trick works at several levels – one record extended into an era, one era extended into one discography, one band extended into all their careers. It is done by that M&M page as they say “Baby One More Time sold” […] “11 million singles”, something uneducated readers would interpret as “the debut single alone sold 11m copies”. Thus that 11-million singles claim is already not related to the early sentence subject (BOMT in 1999) but to an enlarged scope.

      The commercial tells BOMT album + singles sales plus Oops album initial shipments. It seems weird that they would ignore units sold by Oops single in an ad that highlights how big she got.

      Also, while the 9,7m to 11m gap may seem small, at the time JP/US/UK/GE/FR were nearly 90% of global singles sales, thus there is no room for big unknowns. We saw that her early albums sold immense amounts in the Philippines for example – their entire singles market was limited to 100k sales at the time, South Korean one to 40k sales. Those are not Britney sales but indeed how many singles were sold in those countries by all artists in total. Identifying 1,3m “new” copies on top of the already estimated units outside of the Big 5 countries would be equivalent of multiplying by 3/4 sales of estimates from average to low countries, which sounds like way too much. Calculations based on market shares can be very wrong when an artist is weak on big markets but big on weak markets, but it was clearly not the case of Britney who smashed everywhere so already got relevant amounts of copies calculated for “other” countries based on top markets performances.

      To resume:
      – was BOMT up to 20m by then? 100% Yes
      – was her singles up to 11m units by then? 100% Yes
      – were all those sales achieved during 1999 calendar year? 100% No, from 1998 up to May 2000
      – was Oops single included into the 11m units total? Possibly, I would say most likely yes

  16. Hi MJD,
    Are you sure Baby One More Time only sell 5.3 million physical single. Because I read a lot of sources and many said it has sold over 10 million copies. Would love to hear from you.

  17. Hi MJD,

    I was wondering if you happen to know her sales for her officially released remix albums [i]B In The Mix: The Remixes[/i] & [i]B In The Mix: The Remixes – Volume 2[/i]?


  18. hi, do you know if following France single sales are legit?

    Britney SPEARS …Baby One More Time 1999 678 000
    Britney SPEARS (You Drive Me) Crazy 1999 526 200
    Britney SPEARS Oops!…i Did It Again Britney SPEARS 268 300 2000
    Britney SPEARS I’m A Slave 4 U Britney SPEARS 137 300 2001
    Britney Spears Toxic Britney SPEARS 171 100 2004
    Britney SPEARS Womanizer Britney SPEARS 207 700 2008
    Britney SPEARS Scream & Shout WILL.I.AM Feat. Britney SPEARS 210 300 2012
    Britney SPEARS I Wanna Go 2011 83 700
    Britney SPEARS Sometimes 1999 140 000
    Britney SPEARS Lucky 2000 60 200
    Britney SPEARS Stronger 2000 57 700
    Britney SPEARS Till The World Ends 2011 105 700
    Britney SPEARS Everytime 2004 105 800
    Britney SPEARS Overprotected 2002 102 200
    Britney SPEARS Born To Make You Happy 2000 130 400



    1. Hi bsdoacao3,

      Infodisc is a good source for chart runs. Their sales figures are all estimates and very poorly done. Some are off by more than 100%. Just completely ignore them.

  19. Hey MJD,
    It’s been a while but I did think this was notable enough to ask:

    Is it highly impressive for a former teen star’s signature song to not be teen pop (Toxic)?

    That’s atypical.

    What does that say about her career?

  20. Hello MJD. In the article detailing Britney’s sales in Asia, you have updated “In the Zone” sales in India from 5000 to 25.000 copies, but here in Britney’s CSPC article it still says 5000. Does this mean the album is at 6.92M WW instead of 6.9M?

    1. I’d like to know this as well! Also curious about the Greek sales from ifpi.gr being different than the ones from here/Britney.com

      “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)
      (5,000 in the CSPC article)

      “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)
      (5,000 in the CSPC article)

      “Circus” got certified Gold in March 2009 for 7,500 units shipped (https://www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1592801#p1592801)
      (1,000 in the CSPC article)

  21. MJD,

    Just out of curiousity, are you a big huge fan of Britney Spears. You seems to be putting a lot of effort when it comes to her analysis. A lot more than other artist which I have noticed. 🙂

  22. I have a question MJD, for tracks like “My Only Wish (This Year),” where exactly do you get current information on sales from? Christmas songs seems like exceptional cases because they clearly sell every year and show up on iTunes Charts every year, but to what extent they sell I really have no idea.

    So takes My Only Wish, you have it at 650,000. How much do you think it sells a year in the current climate, and how much do you think it sold per year when the digital era was in full force?


    1. Also I was thinking that maybe you could do a “Christmas” article and list the top selling Christmas albums, songs, most streamed, etc. Could be interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *