Extreme CSPC: Introducing the ASR, Artist Success Rating


The EDS of all studied artists

If we do the math for remaining artists, you can see that it requires only 3,04 EAS to get Bob Marley‘s catalog strength, mostly because of the super-strength of Legend. It means that every time a consumer bought an album of the artist, he got 32,9% of the appeal of his complete recordings. What about Metallica? Consumers bought 100% of their catalog’s value every 5,23 EAS. We ended to prove that while both sold the same, Marley has been the most successful since he managed the same cumulative sales in spite of a discography structure which requires his fans less purchases to be satisfied!

Lovers of the Beatles had to buy 6,31 EAS to own 100% of their catalog’s value while the fanbase of Madonna committed on 6,12 purchases. It was expected since her fans have been buying her records through the years as they came out. As for the Beatles, EMI had the brilliant idea to release singles and albums which weren’t contained in each other, creating two discographies living in parallel. When you buy the 30-songs compilation One, you still get 0 tune from their classic albums Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the White Album. This forces their regular buyers to invest into multiple purchases.

ABBA fans bought only 2,38 EAS on average in spite of the strength of their catalog and their massive success during their active years. The cannibalization effect of their compilations, which have been released quickly after their studio albums, is obvious.

The below table provides results of the calculation for all artists with more than 100 million CSPC units:

Michael Jackson‘s discography will soon become the first to sell 100 million units. This shows the how widespread the appeal of the artist is. The table proves a lot of thoughts we had. Bob Dylan is the highest CSPC / EDS ratio showing that his fans collected a lot of his albums, which is only natural considering he has been active for more than 55 years. The highest ratio Records / EDS is Eminem which translates the insane digital sales of the rapper. We can also see that artists like the Eagles and ABBA have low CSPC units in comparison to their EDS, this is the result of compilations eating too much of their discographies’ values. The management of their label is undoubtedly responsible for this situation.

So this is it, Queen and ABBA are bigger than the Beatles? It isn’t the way you should read it. Figures tell us that the strength of their respective catalog has been sold the equivalent of 68 million, 66 million and 64 million times, but Beatles‘ catalog is worthier as proved by CSPC data. Selling 64 million times a catalog worth 406 million EAS highlights more success than selling 66 million times a catalog valued at 157 million EAS.

How do we move from CSPC-EAS / EDS data to the Artist Success Rating?…

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It would be really nice if you guys could update this list. Someone like Elvis should obviously be included. You guys do amazing work!


“If two artists sold 50 million CSPC units each, but the first one issued 10 albums and the second one issued only 2, it is rather clear that the former has been the most successful.“
Why?! It’s not logical imo. If you sold just 2 albums by 50 mln you’re more successful then that who needed 10 albums for this achievement. And because of it MJ the most successful ever. Isn’t it?



i like this concept, but i have a question.

I understand that it is very very hard to go into the 500+ point range. However, I see some of the biggest modern day global superstars in the 150-250 point range. They are on top of the worldwide year-end sales lists, enjoy longevity for many eras, have build a massive loyal fan base and promote their work as much as possible over months. So what is the main reason those are failing to go into the 400-500 point range? Anything they could do about that?


Kill ’em all on besteveralbums.com is the eighth best album of the year, not among the top five.

[…] to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that their sales represent 21.94 million times the purchase of their entire discography. […]


Very interesting concept MJD!
Once again you came up with an exciting tool, concept for industry

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