CSPC: Michael Jackson Popularity Analysis

michael jackson

Full Length related record Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical singles, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album’s popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the value originating from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued, this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge the worth of these releases, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all the compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains this method.

Remaining Long Format – Part 1 – Compilations #1

How to understand this table? If you check for example the The Best Of Michael Jackson compilation line, those figures mean it sold 2,500,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 82,000 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part on the right of the table shows how many equivalent streams are coming from each original album, plus the share it represents on the overall package. Thus, streaming figures tell us songs from Got To Be There are responsible for 53% of the The Best Of Michael Jackson track list attractiveness. This means it generated 1,333,000 of its 2,500,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.

Except a singles pack, this list is full of Motown compilations covering the early albums of Michael Jackson. The 1975 set was the first choice of fans newly gained by later successes which increased its sales for many years. As Got To Be There includes 4 out of the 5 big hits from Motown, it is responsible for the majority of the sales of most of the compilations.

In some cases, like 18 Greatest Hits, the package was shared with the Jackson 5 which means Michael Jackson isn’t rewarded 100% of its sales. Those situations are indeed more favorable to the group as I Want You Back and ABC are the most popular songs from the entire Motown period.

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Smiley

At the time of writing, ‘Thriller’ has now topped 120 million EAS.

It’s astounding to think that one album has been more successful that the entire career output (so far) of some pretty big international acts. Dire Straits, Coldplay, RHCP, Simon and Garfunkel, Adele, Drake and Rihanna to name a few…

Clockingbell

Apart from Simon and Garfunkel, you’re right according to this system

Smiley

Yes, sorry, I meant to say ‘The Doors’. Thank you for the correction!

Mikko

Michael Jackson was part of Thriller album, there was dozens of workers and inventors, everyone’s goal was maximum commercialism or sales. That’s why its rating is not at the top. Not so creative. Call product.

Smiley

I’m not necessarily saying than I’m a fan of either Jackson or ‘Thriller’. Just commenting on the enormous success it has achieved regardless of how many people were involved in it’s creation.

Martin

How is it any less creative, than say Blood on the Tracks, OK Computer, Nevermind, Sticky Fingers etc

You just sound like a bitter snob, finding fault and putting something down, just because it’s not to your taste.

Mikko

Read everyone’s reviews from the critics. They say it better. Are Agatha Christie books better than, let’s say Herman Hesse, John Steinbeck or L-F Celine? I just threw a comment out of context. It’s not dangerous.

Martin

No, it’s bollocks. It’s not everyone’s reviews, it’s a certain subset of societys reviews. Do you really think hip hop magazines, bang on about or even give a fuck about, the merits or validity of Blonde On Blonde or Pet Sounds. On top of that, the majority of the world couldn’t give a toss what critics say, let alone use them as a barometer of what music they enjoy or want to buy. I don’t know what you deem as creative but for me, Thriller is on many levels. It’s not only the most popular album of all time and… Read more »

Nick

What’s your point? That’s like 99% of music out there!

WV27

There is an interesting comment in Sandra Bullock’s film The Lost City. She plays a romance novelist who’s extremely popular but would prefer to write serious work. The cover model says, “How can I be embarrassed by something that brings so much joy to so many people?”
If you like something, enjoy it. But don’t try to negate someone else’s happiness.
Same with your quote about Agatha Christie. Hundreds of millions of people bought her books. It obviously brought them joy. Why insult their taste?

Jorge Neto

Hi MJD, do you have any estimate of how many albums Michael sold since his passing in 2009? According to Soundscan he sold 16.1 million albums in the US alone as of 2019, is it possible to make a worldwide figure?

césar

some of y’all need to shut up
michael had 6 studio albums and the beatles 13
the beatles did it in 7 years and mj in 22 years

the thing is that both found their own way into their success and there’s no excuse to invalidate the other, just SHUT UPPPPP

Sonique

Not to mention that Michael has actually 10 studio albums. Anyway, they’re both icons

Last edited 8 months ago by Sonique
Suhayb

He had 6 albums as an adult. If we don’t add
The other four albums ,they won’t affect that
Much.

Last edited 8 months ago by Suhayb
yutgbtht

mj I a solo artist being compared to a band , I think that says enough

Clockingbell

Just out of curiosity, there probably are good reasons, but is History the only album that is counted twice? Or are any of the other (double) albums also treated this way?

Sonique

I hope this works so they could answer you soon

Suhayb

Why number of sales are changing?
Do they update daily?

Sonique

Streams are updated daily. The EAS from streams cause movement on their sales.

Clockingbell

Alas, the question is probably too dumb/difficult or easy for me to search for

Mcphattys

Well disc one of history is a compilation and disc two is a studio album and disc on is certified platinum in the us but disc two is certified 8 times platinum in the us so the compilation and studio album are considered like two separate things even though they are put together.

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