CSPC: Michael Jackson Popularity Analysis

CSPC Michael Jackson

After two weeks of teasing with related, making of-like articles, the wait is finally over. It’s time to shine our light on the King of Pop. Iconic, massive, legendary, cult, an anthem of a generation, we quickly run out of words while speaking of Michael Jackson.

Maybe the most amazing element is that he achieved this status with a mere six albums from the time he turning 18 in 1976 to his death in 2009. Obviously, it helps when those albums include blockbusters like Thriller, Bad and Dangerous.

This limited discography in volume raises some questions though. As popular as Michael Jackson has been it is hard to imagine him challenging artists like Madonna or Mariah Carey, who were massive too but issued far more albums and mostly during a more favorable time for record sales.

Additionally, artists with well-known elements like video clips, dance moves, widely covered / sampled and highly influential are often seen as bigger sellers than they really are. Since Michael Jackson assembles these elements better than anyone we may wonder even more how much he truly sold.

A lot of myths are well alive around him, from the 750 million record sales to the 100 million copies sold of Thriller. Those claims are clearly fake though, on par with the billion sales of the Beatles or Elvis Presley. Speaking of myths, most of them are related to Thriller. Is it so big that it eclipses everything else and asks the question, were the likes of Off The Wall and Bad less successful than often believed?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge his results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Michael Jackson‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.

Let’s go!

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Suhayb

Hi!

How beatles streams are more than Michael Jackson streams?

Last edited 6 months ago by Suhayb
Dan

Hi.
How is Bugatti Veyron faster than Ferrari F40?

Suhayb

I don’t know what you mean,but what I know is that 6 albums of mj outsold 13 albums of beatles

Tony

Because Beatles are the biggest selling artist ever and more popular.

Suhayb

I don’t think so,becouse his youtube views are 11b while beatles are 4b

Tony

It’s not all about you tube. Don’t be blinkered by your fandom.

Lim Hyunjin

The total number of albums sold is the Beatles more than MJ, but the Beatles are not more popular than MJ.

Lim Hyunjin

Michael Jackson’s post-adult studio albums are 6 and the Beatles’ studio albums are 13.

Lim Hyunjin

Michael Jackson towered over the Eighties the way no superstar before or since has dominated an era — not even Elvis or the Beatles
Above is an excerpt from the thriller album review from Rolling Stone’s “Great Album 500”

Sonique

Spotify streams are extrapolated to account for other streaming platforms’ streams. The Beatles are ahead by more than 3B+ to MJ in Spotify streams.

Suhayb

I thought it was youtube,and spotify combined becouse his views in yt are much bigger than them,do they count yt views?

Sonique

They do not. They only use Spotify based on the formula.

Yes, they also count youtube views as streams although with a different ratio

Last edited 6 months ago by Sonique
Suhayb

thank you

Padilla

they have more streams than he has ? it’s that simple

Thomas Christiansen

“Billie Jean” recently topped 1 Billion plays on Spotify!!!

993,017,697 + 3,798,470 + 2,500,913 + 1,274,583 + 47,353 = 1,000,639,016

A huge achievement from this 39 year old Pop classic!

Lim Hyunjin

A few days ago, Billie Jean was predicted to be played 1 billion on spotify.

Billie Jean is a very important song in the history of popular music.

I listen to Billie Jean every day.

Last edited 7 months ago by Lim Hyunjin
worldcitizen

How much did We Are The World sell? It was hugely successful and The New York Times reported it as the best-selling single of the 80s.

Christopher Porter

Orphan is not a Michael Jackson album

AndrewMark

Orphan means songs that are not included in his studio albums.

AhsokaAhsokaA

Hi, do we know how much “Thriller 25” sold since 2009 please?

Thomas Christiansen

“Beat It” is the 2nd track from “Thriller” to pass 500M streams on Spotify! It’s the 6th pre-2000 album to achieve this. Here are the top 5 albums based on their 2nd biggest track, all 5 are Hard Rock albums btw. Biggest 2nd track race: 1. Nirvana “Come As You Are” (“Nevermind” – 1991) – 617.2M 2. Metallica “Nothing Else Matters” (“Metallica” – 1991) – 595.2M 3. Guns ‘N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” (“Appetite for Destruction” – 1987) – 578.6M 4. Bon Jovi “You Give Love A Bad Name” (“Slippery When Wet” – 1986) – 509.9M 5. AC/DC “You… Read more »

Maybe you’re wondering why Queen are missing from these lists, after all they are arguably the true streaming masters among 20th century artists. But the reason is that their top SEVEN tracks on Spotify are from seven different albums! Amazing actually. Their #8 track “We are the Champions” is the 2nd biggest track on “News of the World” with 480.7M, and rank #9 in the “Biggest 2nd track race”. And what about other 20th century artists with huge Spotify tracks, like Oasis, Mariah Carey, Journey, Toto, A-ha, the Eagles, Earth Wind & Fire and the Police? Well, while hardly one-hit-wonders,… Read more »

Clockingbell

Thanks! I love these lists!

sagaidachniy

thanks!!!

ZZZ

Will you do an update soon? This article was over 3 years ago.

HARSHIT KUMAR PATNAIK

His sales in Japan seem relatively weak for his overall Asai sales ..any reason?

Al

It’s not that they’re weak there, he’s among the very top international sellers in Japan. It’s just that his sales in places like China, India, Taiwan and South Korea were utter massive and unmatched by any other western act at his time. You could argue he was the first western artist to ever break into the mainstream in some of these countries.

Jake

How did Madonna issue albums in a much more favourable era?

She had her peak with him and they both released albums in late 90s and early 2000s, Madonna released more.

Jake

Didn’t most of Madonna albums flop in the 90s? She just had one successful album with Ray of Light!

Last edited 1 year ago by PeterH
César

I don’t think an average of 10.3 million in the 90’s (without Ray of Light) is a flop 😗. Don’t confuse a flop with not being as ridiculously huge she was in the 80’s.

Jake

Average of 10 million?

Immaculate Collection is a compilation, it doesn’t count.

None of her albums except ROL sold 10 million in 90s.

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