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 table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, Please Please Me singles released in digital format sold the equivalent of 360,000 albums – 2,400,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.

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)

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.

4.4 21 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

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

75 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sonique

Is Beatles the best selling musical act in UK?

Martin

Yes.

Sonique

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

Jeric

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

Jeric

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!

Jazz

Dont think so. Based on this site Btitney and Coldplay should sold more based on album sales alone. And pretty sure they sold more singles too.

Analord

This was discussed like two weeks ago in the “Best selling artists of all time” comments, Britney wouldn’t even be top 10… Coldplay might be #5, and indeed the Beatles would be #2, way behind Eminem.

WV27

Jeric, that is true but it needs some clarification. In the USA point of sales are measured by Nielsen SoundCard (now called MRC Nielsen). At the end of 2009 Nielsen estimated that Feminism was the #1 Artist of the first decade of the New Century (32m Album units sold) with The Beatles #2 (30m). Again this constitutes US album sales only from 2000-2009, and did not factor in Digital Downloads, Streaming, Video Streams, etc. Hope this helps.

WV27

Oops … sorry @Jericho. “feminism” is supposed to be EMINEM.

WV27

@jeric (sorry)

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?

Martin

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 🙂

Walter

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

César

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

César

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 🙂 )

Dan

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

Al

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.

Sonique

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

75
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x