Extreme CSPC: Introducing the ASR, Artist Success Rating


ASR – Artist Success Rating

Up to now, we highlighted two meaningful indicators:

  • The CSPC which defines the value of a catalog
  • The EDS which tells us how many times the catalog has been consumed

To establish the final Artist Success Rating (ASR), we need to factor both indicators together. The CSPC tells us how much consumers invested into an artist: it is a demand-oriented indicator. On its side, the EDS reflects how much value was put into each record: it is an offer-oriented indicator. Thus, the factor of both is the ultimate tool to define the success in absolute terms of an artist.

To be more precise, since both indicators are based on weightings of the artists’ sales figures, rather than both indicators we need to factor their square root. This will prevent us from widening artificially gaps between all artists. No worries, all calculations are already done!


Please keep in mind that this ASR is a pure key performance indicator, it isn’t a number of units sold or whatever. Thus, for readability purpose we have set it on a Base 1000.

In the end, the 287 million equivalent album sales of Michael Jackson through a mere 5 eras, in spite of various compilations putting their worth into a single disc, took the Beatles down. The latter act has the most valuable catalog ever, but the former has been the most successful. Maybe more than the first place of the Moonwalker, the most impressive result is the tremendous lead of these two acts over anyone else.

Queen comes in at #3, themselves with a comfortable lead towards the remaining classic rock bands. It isn’t a surprise since they sold as much if not more than the likes Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd even if their catalog was exploited in a much less efficient way.

Interestingly, we found out that Michael Jackson, the Beatles and Queen are the 3 most successful acts – studied so far – ever, precisely the same 3 who own the biggest ongoing catalog on streaming platforms among deep catalog acts.

The success of both The Eagles and ABBA is rewarded. The mania around the latter group has been widely communicated by Medias. At last we have an indicator which proves that indeed they were truly massive.

The enduring success of MadonnaPink FloydRolling Stones and Elton John helped them to amass large amounts of sales. Their extensive catalog is no doubt successful, but the popularity of these artists is slightly lower than suggested by their CSPC ranking. Don’t get me wrong: they still belong to the very top part of the ladder with only Elvis Presley left to push one of them out of the all-time Top 10.

More than ever, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!


5 4 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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

1 3 4 5
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x