The truth about Britney Spears’ album sales in Asia


A new country. A new set of information that requires a heavy amount of expertise to fully understand it. In the past, the Music Industry Association of Korea, known as MIAK, used to publish a monthly Top 20 list of top selling albums. Most countries base their rankings on retail sales, the same was believed to be true for those MIAK lists. It turned out they were based on shipments. Until 2003 no release to date total was displayed, which created a hole for some albums.

Baby One More Time was victim to this issue. It moved 77,000 units according to MIAK. However, this tally included only sales up to June 1999, as long as it was charting inside the monthly chart, and then 2001’s total as it made the year end chart. Shipments from July 1999 to December 2000 were consequently missing. Catalog sales aren’t a subject that really matters in South Korea since the market vanished completely a few years later. Thanks to those certifications from, we know the album climbed all the way to  150,000 units during the months of missing sales.

Oops and Britney, both with known MIAK shipments well past 200,000 units, impressively boast past 300,000 overall sales up to date. Please note how the downgrade of certification units required for a Platinum award (from 30,000 to 15,000) enables us to have a very precise idea of their sales.

Merging all the data together concludes on the following total album sales to date:

  • Baby One More Time – 155,000
  • Oops!… I did It Again – 300,000
  • Britney – 310,000
  • In The Zone – 135,000
  • Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 95,000
  • Blackout – 7,500
  • *Circus – 15,000
  • *The Singles Collection – N/A

*if someone saved detailed information about those two albums they are welcome.

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Isn’t 1xP=15.000 for foreign artists using the 2008 levels?


in Thailand


Her numbers in big Asian market, such as Japan, Korea. Wasn’t really that impressive, however she did very well in the smaller markets such as Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia. It is somewhat disappointing to me to see her Japan sales.


Her numbers in Korea was impreasive. At that time Korean music market was significantly declined. And plus, there was no kpop boom yet. So the biggest local sales in 2001 was under 700,000 copies. Of couse, Britney was the biggest wester acts here.

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Where to check indian certifications for other artists?Thanks

Hot Stryker

Just an FYI . Thalia’s Nandito Ako album which had the cut of the same title was certified as the best-selling album of all time in the Philippines by PARI (Philippine Association of the Record Industry). They have confirmed that indeed, it has sold more than 1 million copies in the Philippines during the height of her popularity. Ogie Alcasid, a Filipino singer-composer, who happens to be the original singer of Nandito Ako, jokingly said in an interview that his biggest hit (Nandito Ako) is the Philippines best-selling song of all time with over 1 million copies sold, and unfortunately… Read more »


Taiwan certification criteria for international artists are as below:
1996.8-2002.2 50,000(1P); 25,000(1G)
2002.3-2005.12 30,000(1P); 15,000(1G)
2006.1-2007.10 20,000(1P); 10,000(1G)
2007.11-2008.12 14,000(1P); 7,000(1G)
2009.1-Now 10,000(1P); 5,000(1G)
The market in Taiwan was at its peak from 1996 to 2001. Baby and oops estimation are way too less.


Hey MJD!

How would you say how successful beyonce is in asia?
Her first three albums was very successful there and also Destiny child was huge?
And compared with her peers like rihanna?
Rihanna vs Beyonce in Asia? Who is bigger ?


I am an Asian so I can answer these questions…
1.) Compared to her success in America, she is not that popular in Asia, being only successful in big commercial Asian markets like Japan but not the best sales in weaker markets like India.
2.) yes in Asia, he first three albums were huge successes in Asia, especially Sasha fierce era… however her fame and popularity in Asia began to simmer down when the 4 era started.
3.) Her peers are far more successful in Asia compared to her
4.) Rihanna is far more bigger and known in Asia


I am an Asian too and you are telling some lies. Beyonce is very popular in markets like Indonesia(2 albums sold past 100k) and Korea (millions of digital single downloads). Her songs Halo and If I Were A Boy are super super unbelivably huge in China. It is so so big. Beyonce is very popular in East Asia and Southeast Asia, and as you say, she may be not that popular in South Asia. I don’t know about that since I never been there. Beyonce’s peers are not far more pupular in Asia than her. Only Britney and Avril may… Read more »


Don’t understand why being Asian is too much of a criteria to answer this question.
In overall units Beyoncé is probably bigger than Rihanna in the region but she was around in the era of bigger album sales there. In recent years Rihanna is definitely the more popular one as she’s getting more YouTube views than her in every relevant market in the region except South Korea and Beyoncé’s album sales have been pretty poor there in recent years too, also in China Rihanna is up to 2.7m followers on QQ but Beyoncé only got 900k.


Yes you are right. That;’s because Beyonce’s popularity got big decline since 4 era. It actually has not too much to do with market size. Physical sales are dead in China now, but BTS new comeback already got 720k pre-orders physically in China(Korean imports, but bought by Chinese, the physical figures are all detailed everywhere). Even IZONE sold nearly 100k physical imports in China with their new comback. Taylor is still able to sell 250k physically with 1989 (locally issued, dont count imports since Chinese western music lovers never gather together to buy hundreds of copies each person and they… Read more »


If Beyonce has sold 83 million records, and Rihanna has sold 96 million records, then how can rihannas asian record sales by lesser than Beyonce? in fact, Chartmasters themselves have made a global heatmap of Beyonces popularity and if you look at the map, her popularity doesnt thrive in Asia compared to the US or Africa. Quote from the site- Overall, Beyoncé‘s popularity in Asia is not that strong. She underperforms in many major markets, such as the Philippines (#63), Singapore (#65). Taiwan (#83), Vietnam (#89), Hong Kong (#93), and as previously mentioned, Japan (#100). She sells a lot of… Read more »


The thing is that Beyoncé was huge in Japan and South Korea during the 2000’s. She just fell into irrelevancy in these markets during the 2010’s for some reason while Rihanna stayed decently popular to this day.


Even Britney who is consider irrelevant these days has better youtube views than her in Asia.


Beyonce ever since the end of the I am…sasha fierce era popularity has dipped worldwide. Her last lemonade managed to sell only 50k copies in its first week outside of the US. 60% of her lemonade sales came from the US (lemonade sold 1.5 million US units). If we subtract US sales, the album has managed only to sell 1 million WW. Whereas, for Rihanna, her songs like Umbrella, diamonds, stay, only girl, Whats my name, love the way you lie and many more hits have been so popular in Asia, She itself has sold most of her records from… Read more »