CSPC: Sales & Formulas Fixing Log – Updated Audio Streaming Numbers

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Coldplay Comprehensive Update (02/06/2017)

The CSPC article related to Coldplay has been fully updated with the new methodologies which includes YouTube integration and streaming to sales ratio. Figures of streaming and sales were also updated to newly available data.

In the mean-time, fixes have been applied as well to both album sales and physical singles sales. The latter category was adjusted as per the methodology presented on Professionalizing Physical Singles Estimates page from this article. The former category was fixed after identifying enough data to value Coldplay‘s albums sales more accurately than with standard formulas.

Information 1 – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends details

On this tweet, the band presented a plaque with all certifications received by their 2008 album after five years of sales. This album was the band most global record, topping charts in most countries and ending as their top seller in regional markets like Japan. Nevertheless, its certifications from Asian countries minus Japan equal to a mere 97,000 units, nowhere near the standard 70% of Japanese sales – 450,000 units – used when there is no information available for this continent. Of course, certifications are limited to threshold, but even using the higher certification criteria, we fall very short of the standard.

Similarly, continental Europe sales are calculated with Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Finland sales combined plus 30%. As Viva La Vida sold 2,49 million units in those markets it suggests 747,000 units calculated for countries like Belgium, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Denmark or Norway among others. All certifications from continental Europe countries shown in the tweet pic add for only 291,000 units though showing a lower success there from the band. Even more negative, 170,000 copies of that tally is achieved by Denmark and Norway, two markets which disappeared with the arrival of streaming during the 10s, which means that sales outside of the listed panel in Europe for the most recent albums are truly low.

Information 2 – A Head Full of Dreams IFPI Figure

Recently, we learned A Head Full of Dreams shipped 1,4 million units during 2016 after shipping 1,9 million during 2015, pushing the total to 3,3 million. As incredible as it seems, markets listed on breakdowns on our site – US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina / Japan / Australia, New-Zealand / UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Finland add for 3,2 million units. This lets a mere 100,000 copies plus a few achieved during 2017 available for all other countries, which again suggests way weaker sales proportionally speaking in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe in comparison to the main music markets.


Year Album Before After
2000 Parachutes – 10,400,000 – 10,100,000
2002 A Rush of Blood to the Head – 14,300,000 – 13,700,000
2005 X&Y – 12,500,000 – 11,900,000
2008 Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – 10,500,000 – 9,700,000
2011 Mylo Xyloto – 6,800,000 –  6,300,000
2014 Ghost Stories – 3,700,000 – 3,350,000
2015 A Head Full of Dreams – 3,400,000 – 3,450,000

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The videos that have been released in the last two decades (2010 ‘- 2020’s) cannot be compared with videos released in previous decades (2000’s, 90’s, 80’s …) because a video released in 2003 its current views do not reflect the impact it had at the time. Is there a formula to adjust that difference? I say this because in the film industry there are already several films from the decades of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s … adjusted to the current economy, and they can compete with more recent films


I think YT numbers compensate for that already, given the higher sales of the original products in the time before YT.

Last edited 9 months ago by Clockingbell

The entire point of CSPC is to reflect how songs, albums, and artists popularity and success have evolved as they progressed through their careers and through different formats. Keyword being different formats. Weighing YouTube views differently entirely defeats this purpose, and imo is unnecessary


I understand that the success of a single is focused on the compilation of its sales in its different formats (physical sales, digital downloads, Transmission…) especially if they are singles from past decades. But I am not talking about the audios but about their videos only. VH1 and MTV were the big broadcasters and distributors of music videos. And they were a reference before the arrival of YouTube. Many videos were very successful on those channels (videos from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s). What I want to know, is there a formula to incorporate the success of the videos broadcast… Read more »


Isn’t that the same as incorporating audio streams with airplay charts?


Exactly, and Youtube views aren’t that big a deal anyway since 1 billion views = 85k album sales (from what I understand).


by this logic that you’re using, we should do the same to pure sales and adjust the difference since smash albums like 1989 or x by ed sheeran that sold 8-10m would definitely sell 20m-30m pure if released in the 80s, 90s or early 00s


Hello, when you calculate the loss of album sales 2004-2006 in order to measure digital sales, shouldn’t the loss of physical single sales also be counted?


hello where do i get “Comprehensive Audio Stream”


Hi MJD, I have a question, The “Comprehensive Audio Stream” includes Spotify??

[…] The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 157 million of the 272 million users of streaming platforms, […]


Shouldn’t streams for older songs be worth more than streams for newer ones tho?
At this point Ed Sheeran will probably pass MJ with CSPC
Just like how tour grosses are adjusted for inflation?


Hello! Any news on Streaming formula (Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 272/157* Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750)? Infos about size markets of Japan, China, Korea (and others out Spotify)?

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