8 Official Data Which Are Just False

Elvis A.Presley

Elvis Presley & the Beatles sold 1 billion records? (labels)

While majors never reported most claims attributed to them, they did report over 1 billion sales of both Presley and the Beatles. It’s official. Naturally, their fans believed it and more than 30 years later, uneducated media are still repeating these claims frequently.

These claims came out in 1983 and 1985, respectively. The singles era during which they debuted saw very few album sales. Consequently, labels took the habit to report all figures in singles equivalent units. Under that methodology, 1 album was worth 6 units, 1 EP was worth 2, 1 single was worth 1. Sales of 120 million singles, 20 million EPs and 140 million albums were then equal to 1 billion records.

For the sake of accuracy, the Beatles naming meant the band as well as its four members for EMI. To be precise, sales claimed were also to the geographical scope of the label. In Japan for example, Odeon licensed and sold various Beatles‘ early records instead of EMI.

Chart sites have known this story for several years. I still decided to include it here to highlight a key issue about charts & sales: labels don’t lie. They pay royalties to artists depending on their sales. Thus they can’t inflate numbers just like that. For marketing purposes though, they will always present numbers in a way that benefits the artist, leading us to confusion. To summarize, always wonder under which context a claim came out to best interpret it.

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Calvin

So did “Reputation” sell around 3 million copies during 2017 or to date?

isaiah

So on the last page, you stated that many people are skeptical about Mariah Carey’s two diamond certifications but never went further into detail into that. Would you mind explaining why people have this perception/skepticism about her certifications?

Raffi

Hi Isaiah! If you didn’t know, Mariah’s 2 US diamond-certified albums (Music Box and Daydream) are on around 7,3m and 7,7m respectively on SoundScan. As for BMG club sales, both albums are on 735K and 848K respectively, leading to a total of around 8 million for Music Box and 8,5 million for Daydream. Obviously, sales from other avenues (eg. unscanned copies, Columbia House club sales etc.) weren’t factored in, but many people thought the a gap of 1,5-2 million was too large, with some completely unaware of the importance of club sales, thus leading to the false conclusion that both… Read more »

RLAAMJR.

You are so right with the OCC’s new rules. So wrong.

Anyway, I did share this article on twitter to both OCC and USBillboard and hashtags most of the companies you have mentioned on this article. They need to know their mistakes.

Winston1968

About the best selling albums list in UK, you’re definitely right. The mistakes of the OCC are obvious and admitted by more and more people who are interested by this question. Sgt. Pepper at 5.4 million in UK ? Come on… (I am a huge Beatles fan, but not blind…). The worst – “errare humanum est, diabolicum perseverare” – is their decision to maintain their numbers, even if they know (and they can’t ignore it) that they are false… Are they scared to seem ridiculous ? I would like to know your own list Top 10, 20, 50 ?…) of… Read more »

ILFMUSIC

Great!And Riaa also many fake cer

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