CSPC: The Beatles Popularity Analysis

THE BEATLES CAREER CSPC RESULTS

the beatles psychedelic wall

So, after checking all figures, how many overall equivalent album sales each Beatles’ album achieved? Well, at this point we barely need to do the addition of all figures defined all over this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

*Pure sales figures updated on 04/17/22.
'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.

As a reminder:

  • Studio Album: sales of the original album
  • Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
  • Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
  • Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
  • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/6750 for Video stream)

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers


Overall, those results are quite shocking. It is so by both how big and how weak they are. Big because the average sales of all albums is insane, weak because no album is higher than 43 million, a somehow disappointing result. The leader is expectedly Abbey Road.

Shocking too because both Let It Be and Help! surge over classics like Sgt Pepper’s and White Album. Please Please Me too tops this latter album while Revolver and Rubber Soul end up at #9 and #10 only.

This highly intriguying ranking reveals one deep reality even more important than which albums appear high or low. All those albums CSPC totals illustrate a unique pattern. Yellow Submarine apart, all albums stand between 14 million and 43 million, a 3 to 1 ratio between the biggest and the weakest LP. From the second to the tenth most popular, the gap – 33 million to 23 million – is very, very small, something never seen on all other artists breakdowns. All albums catalog sales have been pretty much exactly the reverse of their strength inside the group’s compilations. Once putting everything together, all figures are incredibly close. What is the ultimate meaning of this situation? It means that unlike other artists, consumers haven’t been purchasing one hit, nor one album, not even two or three classics. The final target of the average Beatles consumers was to buy, whatever the form / combo of packages, the band’s full discography. Isn’t that the real signature of the greatest success of all-time?

Cumulatively, the band sold the out of this world total of 405,7 million equivalent albums. Up to now, the biggest artist studied was Madonna with 244 million units. You will need to add to her discography the one of ABBA – 156,6 million – to come close to the heights of the Beatles. They also top Led Zeppelin and U2 combined total. Do I really need to say something more?

Do not forget to check our amazing lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector which includes the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far to better gauge her position in the history of the music industry.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, Chartmasters.org.

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Nick

I’m curious why their digital singles sales are so low compared to the likes of Queen and MJ?

jt1916

I guess that one important reason is that they wait many years until put the catalogue there (2009), and 5 years later that market started to collapse, so they had few years to make sales. I mean, even Elvis have a little more digital sales, when the Beatles outstream him x2.

Al

It’s explained on page 31 of this article.

NicholasNiner

I would love to see the sales of George Harrison. Both John Lennon and Paul Mccartney are updated while George and Ringo are missing. I assume Ringo hasn’t sold that well but George had string of succesful albums starting with All Things Must Pass. Maybe in the future when The Beatles sales are going to be updated you could also do George and Ringo, same as it was done with Neil Young, when both Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were done at the same time. I’m sure a lot of people would love to see that. Thank… Read more »

Tom Riise

An update on The Beatles would be great.

Eric Williams

BFD on amount of records sold. Theres more people in the world. All these groups/people are playing because of the BEATLES. I bought my first guitar from a guys living room. I traded my flute in for an electric guitar, at Jacks Drum Shop, after Feb. 1964 when they were on Ed Sullivan. There was no Guitar Center, or anything like that. Since the BEATLES, everyone and their brother play guitar.

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