The ultimate hit machine. Since she began her career in 2005 the Barbarian superstar Rihanna has been stacking hit records the same way Cristiano Ronaldo stacks goals. Breaking records for more than 10 years in a row isn’t a fluke, so it is no coincidence if both superstars are the only two sitting inside the Top 10 most followed personalities on both Facebook and Twitter.
Indeed, this fact shouldn’t be overlooked. Facebook is extensively used nowadays by people over 25. That’s why among the most followed persons we will get Michael Jackson, Eminem or Shakira, artists that have been massively hyped during the 00s for various reasons. Top personalities on Twitter include Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande, people who have made big headlines during the last 10 years. If Rihanna and Cristiano make both lists, it is because their hype never slowed down and they have been able to continue to appeal to new followers.
The comparison doesn’t end there. Cristiano is often criticized for being a one dimensional player, a goalscorer-only. In reality, when we take a closer look, we notice he has the most assists in the history of the Champions League ahead of Ryan Giggs. This fact is barely overshadowed by his unreal scoring abilities. Similarly, Rihanna‘s unmatched digital sales become an argument for her haters to argue she can’t sell albums. Considering how many downloads she sold, can we seriously expect her to sell as many albums? Especially since we now know thanks to the CSPC method that airplay hits boost sales, but sales of singles cannibalize the parent album, and so sales of singles and albums work against each other.
As there is no Ballon d’Or in music in order to award the biggest artist of every year, we will make up for this absence by setting Rihanna‘s position among the biggest artists of this millennium. Last year we already went through her career, but the target was different. Rihanna‘s article was the very first artist-CSPC article that we published. The goal was to show the dynamics of consumers who switch between products of a catalog to show how essential it is to analyze results of every format – albums, singles, streams – before reaching conclusions about the popularity of an artist. Consequently, exact sales figures of Rihanna weren’t the main concern so we explicitly pointed out that data related to singles were rough approximations in order to give an idea of the CSPC method.
Since then we have found with pleasure that our figures were being used more and more as receipts of artists or to build various all-time lists. Thus, here is the new version of Rihanna‘s article with all figures studied in detail.
As you understood, as usual I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Rihanna‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.