CSPC: Avril Lavigne Popularity Analysis

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Avril Lavigne - Smile

Streaming Sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 132 million of the 212 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Streaming Part 1

As Lavigne hasn’t had a successful single since the start of the streaming boom we may expect low numbers from her on those platforms. It is even more valid since the Asian popularity of the singer will hardly be reflected on Spotify where the brand is irrelevant. Despite these two aspects her results are far from bad. Complicated is up to 130 million streams there while it is closing in on 300 million YouTube views. Both Sk8ter Boy and I’m with You post great totals too with a combined 125 million on Spotify and 317 million on YouTube.

The most surprising results are the consistency of the album tracks. Debut albums from Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have their album cuts around 1 million streams on Spotify. Let Go‘s songs are far stronger with every song in the 3-7 million range. This shoots it to 400,000 equivalent album sales from streams.

Under My Skin is just as consistent but lacks big hits with no song reaching 50 million on Spotify. It has 180,000 equivalent album sales overall.

24 thoughts on “CSPC: Avril Lavigne Popularity Analysis”

  1. I wasn’t surprised to see her results. I never consider her as big as even Christina Aguilera. Her image are just not that appealing, although she probably has bigger and more famous singles than Xtina. Although still, its not everyday you could get an artist that could sell 30 million albums. Still respectable total though.

      1. Lie. Avril Lavigne had a higher peak: Let Go (19 M). Christina (17 M). And, in addition, her albums had a greater consistency: Avril (19 M, 9 M, 9 M, 3.5 M, 1.9 M). Christina (17 M, 11 M, 7 M, 1 M, 0.8 M). If Christina has a bigger total, it’s because 10 million of her sales are from her feats. In addition, 2 million sales come from a song where she only sings 30 seconds.

        The last album of Avril Lavigne sold as much as Joanne (around 2 M in sps) and the double of Witness. She has more consistency than everyone believes and she barely makes promotion. As she hasnt promoción, Katy and Gaga seem bigger than her, but they are not. And Christina is far away from her …

        1. Agree with you, Avril has more hits and probably sell a little bit more than Xtina. However, Xtina is much more appealing image wise and the fact that she has a very powerful voice makes her more widely known critically speaking.

        2. Hi Lavinger and RLAAMJR!

          The comparison between Xtina and Avril is interesting, but aside from comparing raw data, another way to look at it is through the investment to profit ratio pointed out by MJD in the Britney article comments.

          Several statements pointed out by Lavinger were true:
          -Avril had a higher peak than Xtina
          -Xtina has the edge over Avril due to songs outside her studio albums

          As for the consistency part, it is debatable. When Avril had the bigger album with their first album, obviously from a profit point of view, Avril wins comparing their debut, especially considering Xtina was a teen pop act, an act with a higher profile thus a larger initial budget. Speaking of initial budget, that of Avril’s sophomore effort would be larger as her debut was bigger.

          On to the 2nd album. Lavinge’s did barely half of its predecessor, though still a respectable success. For Xtina, the initial budget for her would be similar to Avril’s as her debut was the weaker one relatively speaking, though Xtina’s profile is still bigger, allowing her to have still a large budget. Xtina’s 2nd album, Stripped, managed to reach 75% of its predecessor’s success and outsold in in Europe and Oceania. Thus, from a profit point of view, Xtina wins this round with a softer sophomore slump.

          On to the 3rd album, Xtina’s initial budget would be larger now, again due to the artist’s profile and predecessor’s performance. TBDT outperforms B2B, thus the former wins when looking at profits.

          After that, Xtina’s last 3 albums add for 4,3m units while Avril’s last 2 add for 5,2m, again with the initial budget favoring the former due to the profile. In conclusion, we can say that the both of them were equally consistent for their first 3 efforts, while afterwards, Avril was more consistent from a profit’s angle. The same case between Avril and Gaga, though Joanne had less time to accumulate sales and has already surpassed Lavinge’s last effort, so it is debatable.

          Hits wise, they are on par, but factoring orphans, Xtina edges out Avril.

        3. This is how you compare Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne.

          Popularity – Christina Aguilera pretty much wins in this category. More people around the world know who Christina is than Avril. Thanks to recording the Mulan soundtrack, being a judge in xfactor and having her own movie.

          Hit songs -Christina’s songs are more popular and unforgettable. You will even hear some Christmas songs from Christina during Christmas.

          Net Worth:
          Christina – $160 million
          Avril -$50 million

          Avril’s first album may have sold more than Xtina’s first album but Xtina had a lot of competitors in pop music especially Britney. Avril didnt really have a competitor.

          1. Hi RLAAMJR!

            I’m sorry but facts prove you wrong. About popularity, it all depends on where you are from. In Western countries, both are equally known, maybe Aguilera is known by moms a bit more but it’s no big deal. But then, if you look at Asia, easily the most populated continent of the World, Lavigne crushes Aguilera with ease. I’m quite sure if we had statistics about how many persons know each of them in the World, Lavigne would come ahead with a comfortable margin.

            Hits songs, Complicated has way more streams than Aguilera’s best, Beautiful. It is 50% higher. Then both have their Top 10 hits inside the same range of 40-80m streams. Obviously, this is from Spotify, which isn’t used much in Asia. Avril leads on YouTube, 93m vs 77m views this last month, in spite of lower US views, confirming my statement above.

            You say that Xtina had more competitors, it is because she performs on the most popular genre, Avril had no competitor on her category quite simply because her genre wasn’t selling, which is all the more impressive.

  2. Finally. Thank you very much. I expected her first two albums to be bigger. At that time Avril Lavigne was perceived as an authentic cultural phenomenon. But her third album is bigger than I thought, almost 10 M. His fourth album was a great descent, but 3.5 M is not bionic or Britney Jean. Would you consider it a semi-success or a semi-flop? The fifth album was unquestionably a flop, but albums like Joanne, with a lot of promo, didnt sell more than it.

    Why do you think Avril had this decline after his third album?

  3. Hi MJD! Wonderful job as usual!

    Avril has had a great career, in fact, a lot of people don’t realize how big and global she was during her prime. Easily one of the most global acts of the 2000s along with Britney and Eminem! And while she has declined a lot, her success in Asia has been very consistent thus keeping her at least moderately successful. On a side note, I was expecting her streaming results to be a lot worse than they actually are!

    By the way, her achievements page says “Let Go” is the highest selling international studio album in Japan this millennium, are you sure about that? I think t.A.t.U’s debut album takes the title as Billboard claimed it sold “close to 2 million” back in 2003!


    The album was still selling loads back in August 2003 so I think it’s safe to say it’s past the 2 million mark by now. Anyway, both albums had massive sales there.

    1. Hi Stephen!

      I did check their album while adding this achievement. t.A.t.U’s album sold:
      – 1,075,445 while on Oricon charts, dropped out in January 2004
      – 170,827 as a Deluxe Edition
      – 202,555 imports

      That’s some 1,45 million copies. Afterwards, imports were already included, plus both albums dropped out when the Top 100 was extended to a Top 300. Also, they never returned to charts as the band felt out of fashion quickly. At best both editions sold 50k in the 2 years following the initial run, then there is a decade of very low catalog sales to add, so this isn’t good enough to top Let Go!

  4. It’s weird that The Best Damn Thing sold only 5,6 million. At the end of 2007 the album was close to 6 million sales. And at May 2014 the self-titled album has sold 650,000 copies, how it could get only 90,000 more over the past 3 years even with the Avril Lavigne Tour going to South and North America and Asia to promote the album?! I’m a little confused, I think it’s not correct.

    1. Hi Lucas!

      I suppose you refer to the Mediatraffic figure which isn’t accurate. As per the IFPI, TBDT shipped 5,0 million units during 2007. It is a shipment figure, which differs from real sales especially at the time when most sales were physical units – 98% of TBDT’s sales. Its bulk of shipments came that year only. Same for the self titled, you can’t go by Mediatraffic which are simply inaccurate.

  5. Avril Lavigne (2013) – 962,000 equivalent albums
    Rock n Roll – 760,000
    Here’s to Never Growing Up – 2,080,000
    Let Me Go – 410,000
    Remaining tracks – 700,000

    This math doesn’t make sense… it should be something like 600.000 equivalent album, not 962.000

    1. Hi Pedro Labre!

      You’re right! The DL total adds for 3,95m, which would equal to 592,500 equivalent units. I’ll inform MJD of this. There must be a typo on either the DL totals or the equivalent units totals.

      1. Correct Pedro / Raffi! The formula was selecting the wrong range inside my Excel sheet, thus adding ‘Alice’ and GL’s remaining tracks into the total. I’ll fix that, thanks!

  6. We know that Avril has always had problems with record companies. For example, her fourth record was deliberately sabotaged by her record company and not properly promoted. We also know that her last record was released by a label in crisis (Epic). The promotion (and the tour) of the last record were abruptly interrupted by her illness. How do you think these factors have affected? Moreover, how much do you think the general sales crisis has affected the sales of your albums?
    We also consider that Avril is an old-fashioned artist who has never pissed hits that reflect trendy genres, even in recent years she has maintained her original vication to mix pop-punk/pop-rock with pop.
    Is a problem for her the fact that pop-rock passed trend post 2006/07? Many define TBDT the last big album of the pop-punk era.
    I then wanted to ask, an artist of her kind how many sales can keep after 5 albums to be considered relevant?
    Now that the music market seems more sensitive to alternative sounds and requires artists more and more busy and able to tell stories, how much do you think she can get back to popular with a very deep album or power ballads as singles?

  7. Are these Numbers right? Didn’t Let Go sold more than 20 million copies? UMS 15? TBDT 9? GL 3m? And AL 1m? As far as I remember Billboard updated her numbers in 2013 and were higher than yours and they didn’t count Spotify

    1. Hi Uriel!

      As Dan mentioned, Billboard is not an official source for worldwide sales. Only the labels knows worldwide sales, and when they report it, other sources might quote that with a mention of the label as a source. If not, they’ll most likely use a source that is false but widely reported (eg. Wikipedia)

      All figures listed in this article were backed by 2 sources of official data. One, Country by country breakdown using raw data reported, if not, through other sources (eg. chart data), and Two, reports from labels or official sources, mostly IFPI. While we can’t be sure they’re 100% spot on, we can say they are very very realistic and validated. As MJD mentioned, TBDT shipped 5m in 2007, an additional 4m afterwards would be ludicrous for an album which promotional campaign was almost over, even if factoring catalog sales!

  8. RIAA has stopped updating the sales of the first Avril albums for several years so it is possible that she has sold more than that? true?

    1. Hi Pablo!

      It’s untrue, Soundscan continues to scan sales figures every week. Figures aren’t limited to their RIAA certifications, they are estimates of up to date net shipment. On her case, considering how much data is available, the margin of error is close to 0.

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