The truth about Britney Spears’ album sales in American continent
NORTH AMERICA – Canada
So, how does this work? By 2006, Britney.com listed “sales equivalent certifications” listed in the second column. The following two columns give you the related minimum and maximum sales each album then sold. For real certifications, this max value doesn’t make sense since they are not automatic. The albums may have topped higher certifications but haven’t been audited. Here, awards were sales to date converted, so the max value becomes meaningful.
On columns 5 to 7 the same information is listed, but as listed by 2011 in the website. In-between, in 2008, the Canadian music industry changed the Gold and Platinum criteria from 50,000/100,000 to 40,000/80,000 respectively. As a result, sales converted into certifications were impacted. This resulted in, for example, Oops! being listed as 10xP instead of 8xP.
This is where the process gets incredibly powerful. With the criteria being lower, this gives a smaller possible interval for sales. If we take the example of In The Zone, rather than sales anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 units, we now know it sold at least 320,000 units.
Even better, this process provides figures for uncertified or outdated albums. Oops! remains 5xPlatinum since June 2000. This information confirms it sold over 800,000 units. Greatest Hits, which isn’t certified at all, sold at least 160,000 units and at most 240,000 copies.
An interesting case is the one of Baby One More Time. By 2006, it had sold at most 1,1 million units, by 2011 it was at least on 1,12 million. This illustrates that Britney.com wasn’t switching criteria, but rather updating numbers with ongoing catalog sales forming a jump in sales during the years.
The last column displays the estimate from us on our CSPC analysis. Britney’s debut album was overstated with a 1,4 million estimate. This was assumed because the album sold 14 million in the US, while it went Diamond in both the US and Canada at the exact same date, December 9 1999. As per Soundscan, the album did sell a little less in proportion in Canada with 856,000 sales by August 2000 while it was on 9,7 million in the US. So it seems Canadian retailers had been more optimistic before the 1999 holidays, ordering heavy amounts of discs. The figure of Oops was slightly rounded too high, although we need to consider our figure is from 2016 while the interval was relative to sales from six years ago.
Merging all the data together concludes on the following album sales to date:
- Baby One More Time – 1,130,000
- Oops!… I did It Again – 880,000
- Britney – 400,000
- In The Zone – 350,000
- Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 175,000
- Blackout – 180,000
- Circus – 260,000
- The Singles Collection – 50,000