CSPC: The Beatles Popularity Analysis


Streaming Sales

The Beatles have got a unique relation with each and every format. The last one which emerged more than 40 years after they disbanded still saw them adopting an atypical strategy. Holding out their catalog for years just like they did on download platforms before, they came into the streaming world for 2015 Christmas day.

The ‘Beatles are on Spotify!‘ was a hot news, the last Splash Strategy used by EMI to date. Results have been fairly strong with 1 billion streams reached by June 30 2016 and 2 billion by December 20 2016. As their arrival was extensively marketed along with the Spotify brand and due to success demographics of the group perfectly fitting with the Swedish giant distribution, their plays on that specific platform have been a tremendous part of their overall streams. By the date 2 billion milestone was hit, their Spotify results amounted for 1,27 billion, a notable 63,5% of their total streams. Thus, this proportion will be used on all figures presented on this category to extrapolate their Spotify numbers into global ones.

We will be reviewing streams from all their songs and all their albums, converting each of them into equivalent album sales. The equivalent album sales is the division of the comprehensive streaming figure by 1500 as it is now the norm in the new industry model.

Streaming Part 1 – Breakthrough Albums

Before getting into big hits, the first striking element from streams of the group first three albums is their consistency. Each and every song on them has at least 1 million plays, a very solid showing, even more considering they have been running for 14 months only.

Still, total equivalent sales show a 3 to 1 lead of Please Please Me over With the Beatles. Streaming make it no different than in the past – it’s the big hits that drive sales, whatever format you are talking about. Both Love Me Do and Twist And Shout crack the 30 million barrier while the likes Please Mister Postman and Roll Over Beethoven have 10 times less streams.

Songs from A Hard Day’s Night are in-between performance wise. The title track has 24 million streams while Can’t Buy Me Love posts a strong 19 million.

4.5 19 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Is Beatles the best selling musical act in UK?




I hope you would update and make a record and achievement section for the Beatles


Will BTS surpass the Beatles eventually? And is it possible that a current artist at present will surpass them?


Thank you for your response!

Someone shared on Twitter that the Beatles is the second best selling artist of the century. Eminem took the first place. Can you pls confirm this fact? Thanks ahead and more power!

Richard Dakin

You show the US sales for the White Album at around 12 million. It is a double album. The RIAA has its sales at 24 million plus, making allowance for the fact that it is 2 records that were purchased. Ditto for the red and blue albums. The Anthologies were triple albums, as were the BBC albums.
Do your numbers make allowance for this?


Nope. The White Album, Physical Graffiti, The Wall etc are counted as one album, one sale, no multiplication of discs included, times sales.

One of the albums you mention, is probably the best example against multi counting. The double disc, Red Album, which has less tracks and a shorter total running time, than single disc 1.

Richard Dakin

I’m not sure I follow. If one buys and pays for an album that contains 2 records, have 2 records not been sold?
Do you allow for this by using the total number of tracks on the album?

Richard Dakin

MJD:Thank you for expaining that!
I really enjoy and appreciate the work that went into, and still goes into, your website. I look forward to updates as they appear.

tom riise

Update would be nice 🙂


the RIAA certifications on red album and blue album also include download and streaming, seen how much higher are they ?


I’ve just realized that the physical single sales of Beatles For Sale and A Hard Day’s Night are swapped.


I think this should get an update. It’s been 3 years and a lot of things have happened like the anniversary editions of Abbey Road and the White Album. (Also pls do George and Ringo’s CSPC 🙂 )


I’m positive they’ll be well above 420 mill after the update.


Beatles featuring Tony Sheridan is included in the compilation section on page 46

Mark Lupi

Amazing work, congratulations! However you’ve missed one important EP release. The Beatles fifth Ep release, Long Tall Sally, which was released in Britain in June 1964 and is another reported global million seller.


Has this already been included in the analysis? If not, I hope Chartmasters would consider verifying this one and include its sales in computing the Beatles CSPC points

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x