Britney Spears – In The Zone (2003)
Claimed Sales – 10,000,000
Estimated Sales – 7,400,000
If there is one group of die hard fans truly fighting as much as possible for their favorite artist, that is the group of Britney Spears fans.
Myself, I’ve seen at least four times emails / PMs screenshots posted on forums supposedly coming from me, giving out inflated figures for some country or another. They were Photoshopped screens as they were mails / PMs I never sent. In the same way, Freddy, the webmaster of Mediatraffic, copied all my estimates onto his website’s all-time best selling albums lists, but for the couple of Britney Spears albums on it he voluntarily inflated them. I often have fun about Wikipedia’s accuracy and did so in this very message, but they have been putting a lot of effort into fixing a lot of delusional claims. Still, Britney Spears’ discography page is showing her debut Baby One More Time on 30 million, her second Oops! I Did It Again on 25 million, Britney at 15 million and In The Zone at 10 million, all figures inflated by a massive 30%.
With such context, the hardest part for the artist fans’ is to not become delusional. The propaganda is so strong that when official facts finally come out like IFPI figures they are mocked as inaccurate.
What about In The Zone then? It was the 8th top seller worldwide in 2003, a year that saw only five albums selling upwards of 5 million units. Then in 2004, it was outside the Top 50 when the cut was on 2 million units. That puts a roof at 7 million at the very best up to the end of 2004. By that time, it was on 2,893,000 units scanned in the US, while to date it is up to 3,0 million. In other words, it doesn’t sell a thing as a catalog album. To be honest, I even consider my 7,4 million estimate up to date rather optimistic!