CSPC: Bruno Mars Popularity Analysis

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Bruno Mars

Digital Singles Sales – Part 2
24K Magic (2016) – 1,214,000 equivalent albums

24K Magic – 3,670,000
That’s What I Like – 3,000,000
Versace on the Floor – 590,000
Remaining tracks – 830,000

Orphan Album – 7,907,000 equivalent albums

Nothin’ On You – 8,390,000
Billionaire – 6,000,000
Lighters – 4,210,000
Young, Wild & Free – 6,420,000
It Will Rain – 7,050,000
Mirror – 2,660,000
Bubble Butt – 950,000
Uptown Funk – 17,030,000

From 35 to 8 million, the drop in singles sales seems terrible for 24K Magic. It really is, but two 3 million selling singles in 2017 is magnificent. The title track and That’s What I Like are two of the very best selling singles from the last 12 months.

Then comes the Orphan songs which include Bruno‘s popular collaborations and stand-alone tracks. Their average level of success is just insane with the first six averaging nearly 6 million sales! That is ignoring the juggernaut that was Uptown Funk. This late 2014 hit released when downloads were already becoming old-fashioned. It still sold absurd numbers. The song is up to 7,85 million downloads in the US while currently crossing 2 million in South Korea. It sold well over 800,000 copies in each of Australia and Canada and more than twice as much in the UK. Uptown Funk is quite simply the biggest selling song since it came out, a record that looks unlikely to be beatennow.

All those songs push the total of Bruno to nearly 150 million. Not bad for someone who has a personal catalog of just 38 songs.

11 thoughts on “CSPC: Bruno Mars Popularity Analysis”

  1. Great numbers! Especially in the Philippines! Any reason for that?

    Also you wrote Bruce Mars on page 17 just to point that out.

    1. Hi Al!

      Sometimes we really do weird typos 😉 now fixed, thanks!

      About the Philippines, his roots are their, his mom is from this country, no doubt it helped! He also donated a lot of money after the typhoon in the past so clearly he remains linked to his origins and the people from there seem to reward that to him pretty well.

  2. You do a great job and I trust your data, but your CSPC method seems very strange to me and it does not convince me. 10 digital singles, 1,5 albums and 1500 streams, 1.6 albums are a big inflation. Streaming and digital singles dont generate as much money as for that equivalence. Bruno Mars has sold almost 20 million more than in the last update. If you change your method again, in the next update he will have sold 80 million albums.

    1. Hi Gt,

      Why is it strange? I explained both ratios (downloads/ringtones and streams, both audio and video) on detailed articles based very precisely on the money grossed and the consumers habits.

      If you check the US sales report for the first half of 2017, you will notice that CD sales grossed $431 million while streaming grossed $2478 million. You can add CD, LP and album downloads together, you will still fall short of half of the gross from streams. In fact, streaming represents now 62% of the gross against 16% for physical products. I say “now”, but streams are advancing so much that they already increased some 25% more since. During the full year 2017, the gross should end close to $6 billion – to give you an idea, that’s almost as much as the entire US industry of 2010-2015 years which totalled $7 billion each.

      There won’t be relevant method changes in the future since now all formulas are mature. Bruno gained 15m, a pretty normal figure with the change of downloads, the success of his last album and the massive ongoing sales/streams of his catalog.

      Oh and one last thing, the likes Mariah, Celine etc built 80m-ish catalogs in no time too, that’s kind of natural when you are one of the biggest acts in the planet!

      1. Not counting his latest album, Bruno Mars has sold around 15 million albums in less than a year. That’s not normal. I know the importance of streaming, but you greatly inflate streaming of spotify, while you are barely count YouTube streaming (billboard will count youtube streaming for billboard 200). But one thing compensates to the other. However, I think the change of itunes downloads is very disproportionate. Singles can not equal 1.5 albums and less today, that all singles are discounted.

        1. Gt, you seem to be mixing various things together.

          Bruno hasn’t climb by 15 million in a year on a like-to-like basis, even less without the last album. That one is up to 5,65m, that already let us with a climb of “only” 9,5m. He was on 127m estimated by last year, now 149m. The new era brought 8m out of that 22m gap, catalog sales about 9m and previous figures’ underestimations some 5m. Then the ratio update (from 10:1 to 10:1,5) gives him 6m+ from his former digital sales and the new sales one more million. Basically, the increase is:
          – 5,65m from new music
          – 6,35m ratio change
          – 1,2m YouTube integration
          – 600k catalog album sales
          – 1,35m catalog track sales (9m)
          – 1,3m catalog streams
          – minus 2050k streams adjustments (downgrade of Spotify as per IFPI figures)
          – plus 750k estimates adjustments (5m downloads, missed first mostly due to songs having distinct versions counted seperately)

          While you are claiming his catalog sold 15m in one year, in reality it did 3,25 million in 15 months, quite a difference.

          You argue downloads are cheaper now – it’s untrue, the RIAA yearly statistics show the same average for 10 years, e.g. $1,2 (in 2016, $907m gross, 751m units). You also forget those digital sales include ringtones which were worth nearly $2,5 against albums at $9,9 per unit.

          Basing figures on valid facts is better than on impressions. There is nothing “greatly inflated”, there is evidences.

  3. For South Korean downloads, do you adjust for the price change that occurred in late 2012-2013?

    Prices were increased from ~$0.10 to around $1.00 and sales volume decreased 2-3 times.

    1. Hi Mauricio!

      There is no weighting specific to countries for various reasons. The first is that prices are different everywhere, for all records, including albums. It isn’t possible to track all that, what we can do is work with averages. Once we start building exceptions, it gets messy. The second is that in a mechanics perspective, big changes of offer will be offset by big changes in consumption. In other words, if downloads go down, albums / streaming go up which balances everything. Look at how Korea is the only place where Adele’s 25 sold much more than 21, taht one itself starting to sell only from 2015.

      The last point is that the price change which occured in SK is very poorly described online, the “big price increase in 2013” was indeed in reality a big price decrease in 2012.

      Below is the sales number of the annual #100 hit:
      2011 1643k
      2012 1426k
      2013 746k

      Those figures explain why people though the price was massively increased in 2013. Let’s now check the annual gross of downloads only (in $ millions):
      2011 47,042
      2012 14,72
      2013 6,498

      As you can see, while units sold went down only by 13% in 2012, the gross collapsed by 69%. In concrete words, as streaming was taking over (it doubled that year), downloads platforms tried to react by dividing the price by 3. Sales figures continued to be pretty thanks to that, although money-wise they haven’t prevent the loss with this strategy.

      In 2013, the gross per download was roughly similar to the one of 2012, but the streaming explosion was inevitable, the share of DLs went from 43% to 6% from 2011 to 2013 while streaming increased from 36% to 85%.

      Some may think those late cheap downloads shouldn’t be counted. But when we consider that:
      – album sales for foreign acts are basically dead in SK
      – Spotify isn’t used in SK which means we aren’t counting their streams either

      At the end of the day, those downloads are our only way to factore in the western act’s popularity there. Download figures can look artificially inflated, but it is completely offset by the absence of sales in other formats.

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