Destroying Myths: Fake 10 million sellers

Rihanna – Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)

Claimed Sales – 15,000,000
Estimated Sales – 9,100,000

Here comes the first example of a new generation of ignorance. The general public has no idea about Track / Streaming Equivalent stories. Even chart forum members will consider every major publication stating “the album xx sold yy million copies” as being related to pure album sales. Not anymore!

I picked the Rihanna album Good Girl Gone Bad first because it’s the oldest album that has been getting these kind of marketing tricks, and also because I already detailed the artist’s sales for both pure album sales (9,1 million) and overall equivalence (14,4 million). The label figure of 15 million stands roughly the same as the figure I published but without physical single sales – they forgot they exist – and DVDs shares, but with Youtube video streaming, which brings in notable numbers. I voluntarily exclude those views as due to the value gap they bring no value at all to the music industry.

One more recent example of such a communication tip has been Ed Sheeran’s album X, widely reported as a 10 million seller while it was just over 6 million. The artist had the honesty to publish below a breakdown on his Instagram account:

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Jarrad Hurley

Invincible started out as one of Michael’s fasted-ever selling albums but Sony cut all promotion for it within three months of release and defunded Michael’s planned film clips. It’s unfair to call the album a flop when you consider how well it did in the period when it was actually active – And it did that on the power of only one song that was promoted. I am not going to say Invincible was an incredible album (it wasn’t). But the album had a lot more potential than it showed and Sony didn’t allow it to find its feet. Certainly… Read more »

Pat Smith

Both Sony and Michael Jackson cut all promotion. Michael Jackson refused to perform Invincible songs when he had opportunities to do it. Instead, he decided to perform old stuff like Dangerous (2002) or Man In The Mirror (2001). That’s a strange way to promote his new album… He could have made more sales if he had just decided to perform his new songs. Michael Jackson also refused to get involved in his own video for “Cry”. How can he expect that the album Invincible will get some hype with such a bland video? That tends to show that he was… Read more »


Sorry but was Sony that refused to authorize MJ to perform the new songs. Always Sony decided to stop all kind of promotion ( including cutting short the budget for the Cry video and that’s why M Wasn’t in it ). In a radio interview before the release of the album MJ said clearly that he had planned to do a video for Umbrekable, the lost children and whatever happens at least and after that other kinds of promotions, maybe also a tour. He worked really long and hard as always on this record and had no reason at all… Read more »


Question is which of these albums held up & still sound fresh? Imo Invincible sounds better as time goes on

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