Barely 21, Shawn Mendes already has a long list of sizable streams. The most recent one was the biggest hit of the summer, Señorita, which led the global Spotify chart during 102 days.
From his days of posting covers on Vine to his current domination, how successful has been the career of the young Canadian pop star?
Get to know Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes, full name Shawn Peter Raul Mendes, is a Canadian singer-songwriter born in August 8, 1998 in the state of Ontaria. His father and his mother are Portuguese and English, respectively.
Shawn Mendes started sharing covers on video app Vine in 2013 to immediate success. He was quickly signed by Island Records and issued his first and enponymous EP in July 28, 2014. This record debuted straigth at #5 on Billboard 200 Album chart.
3, plus the initial EP as well as 2 live records. Shawn Mendes issued his debut album Handwritten in 2015, follow up Illuminate in 2016 and Shawn Mendes in 2018. Recent hits If I Can’t Have You and Señorita have been added to the extended edition of the latter in 2019.
On surface the success of the Canadian singer doesn’t seem so obvious. He hasn’t got a US top 3 hit until the new releases of this year.
Songs like Stitches, Treat You Better and There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back went to the top 10 though and enjoyed an impressive lasting appeal. Globally, they all remained charted well over a year on Spotify.
His streams aren’t difficult to identify, how is the artist performing in remaining formats yet, like pure album sales and downloads?
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 Shawn Mendes‘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.
The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)
There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. The first is the Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a few minutes.
If you are a mathematical person, and want to know the full method as well as formulas, you can read the full introduction article.
Now let’s get into the artist’s sales figures in detail in order to apply this concept and define the act’s true popularity!
Shawn Mendes Albums Sales
Original Album Sales – Comments
Most newcomers haven’t been able to build a fan base before the collapse of pure sales which make their success with this format very limited.
Among them, Shawn Mendes is one of the top performing artists. His 3 releases sold nearly 900,000 units on average, a very good tally for our day and age.
Sales of the last album have been especially consistent although these numbers will get harder and harder to maintain in the future.
Shawn Mendes Songs Sales
Physical Singles Sales
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.
Once his fanbase was built a few singles started to be released in order to exploit it. That’s why his 3 songs available physically are his most recent big hits.
Naturally, numbers are low in relative terms and bring next to nothing to the overall tally
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.
With the recent collapse of downloads, the highest selling song of Shawn Mendes in this format is his first crossover hit, Stitches.
A chart topper in the UK and a top 5 hit in many countries like the US, Germany and Australia, the song has moved nearly 5 million units to date.
The remaining 3 singles from Handwritten were all moderate hits and stand around a million sales.
Often compared to Justin Bieber as Canadian pop singers, Shawn Mendes repeats one of the sales patterns of the former with strong sales from deep cuts on top of proper singles.
Album tracks of Handwritten sold as much as 1.35 million units, the ones from Illuminate did 600,000 units while his eponymous effort has cuts at 300,000 copies.
The last two albums also have their share of hits. There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back and Treat You Better sold over 2.5 million a piece while Mercy is at 1.85 million.
From the last LP In My Blood and Señorita lead the way with 750,000 units each. These are very high numbers for 2018 onwards considering the collapse of occidental countries markets and discontinued South Korean downloads sales.
Streaming is made up of audio and video streams. Our CSPC methodology includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. To factor in the growing impact of multiple Asian countries where these platforms aren’t always the go-to site for music streaming, more sources have been added.
In order to account for their real popularity in each relevant country, the below sources have been used along with the mentioned ratios that reflect the market share of each area.
– South Korea : Genie streams * 3.05 (consistent with Gaon streaming numbers)
– Japan : AWA streams * 100/5.5 (AWA has 5.5% of the Japanese streaming market)
– Elsewhere : Spotify streams * (370 – 8.5 – 9.5 – 33 – 9) / 207 (370 million global subscribers minus 8.5 million from South Korea minus 9.5 million from Japan minus 33 million from China divided by the number of Spotify only users minus 9 million more Asian users) + Genie streams * 3.05 (uses Genie rather than Spotify to extrapolate markets like Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam)
– China* : Xiami streams * 125/6.5 (Xiami has just over 5% of the Chinese streaming market)
– Elsewhere : Youtube views
*since 96.4% of Chinese streaming platforms are free users, that paid-for users pay less than $2 a month and that they are also used as video streaming platforms, their streams are weighted in par with YouTube streams.
Audio Stream value – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream value – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit
Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = ( Spotify * 310/207 + Genie * 3.05*2 + AWA * 100/5.5 ) / 1500 + ( Xiami * 125/6.5 + YouTube ) / 11750
Shawn Mendes has 4 immensely popular tracks. Treat You Better, Stitches and There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back have all moved 1.2 million units from streams while Señorita is at 945,000 in spite of remaining very recent.
They will all eventually top 1 billion streams on Spotify which is incredible in itself, while they all already broke this milestone on YouTube.
In both Japan (AWA) and South Korea (Genie), There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back leads the way while in China Stitches remains fans’ favorite.
Mercy is also huge for a track which ranks at only 5. It stands at 867,000 EAS with 812 million streams on Spotify.
A second group of songs aren’t as big but still very solid. This includes In My Blood, Lost In Japan, I Know What You Did Last Summer and If I Can’t Have You.
On top of all these hits, there is countless more songs which have amassed over 100,000 EAS from streams.
In terms of albums, Illuminte is the biggest with nearly 4.4 million equivalent album sales.
Full catalog breakdown
Keep yourself up to date
Our website provides you a fantastic tool which fetchs updated Spotify streams as you request them, use it to watch these results grow day after day!
Shawn Mendes compilations 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.
The distribution process
How to understand this table? If you check this example of the The Shawn Mendes EP, these figures mean it sold 140,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 417,456 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 Handwritten are responsible for 76% of The Shawn Mendes EP tracklist attractiveness, which means it generated 53,000 of its 140,000 album sales, weighted 0.5 for EPs, and so on for the other records.
Compilations sales figures listing
Full Length related records Sales – Summary
Here is the most underestimated indicator of an album’s success – the amount of compilation sales of all kinds it generated. Due to the dependency of sales of the original studio albums on these releases, they are a key piece of the jigsaw
These numbers are obtained by applying the method from the section The distribution process to all packages listed under Compilation sales figures listing category.
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Shawn Mendes Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Shawn Mendes achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!
In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Handwritten released in digital format sold the equivalent of 1,428,000 album albums – 9,520,000 downloads with a 10 to 1,5 weighting.
As a reminder:
- Studio Album: sales of the original album
- Other Releases: sales of compilations generated thanks to the album
- Physical Singles: sales of physical singles from the album (ratio 3/10)
- Download Singles: sales of digital singles from the album (ratio 1,5/10)
- Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1/1500 for Audio stream and 1/11750 for Video stream)
At his 21, Shawn Mendes already scores 3 albums over 4.6 million equivalent album sales out of 3 releases.
The debut album stands at 5.68 million units so far, his second top seller. The sophomore effort Illuminate remains his peak up to now with an impressive 6.59 million.
The last record is up to 4.68 million and increasing in 5 digits every day at the moment.
These super consistent results bring the career total of Shawn Mendes to 17.37 million equivalent album sales.
Singles CSPC results
The list is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each song. Therefore, these figures are not merged units of singles formats. Instead, it includes weighted sales of the song’s physical single, download, ringtone and streaming as well as its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.
1. 2015 – Shawn Mendes – Stitches [Handwritten] – 2,360,000
2. 2016 – Shawn Mendes – Treat You Better [Illuminate] – 1,990,000
3. 2016 – Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back [Illuminate] – 1,890,000
4. 2016 – Shawn Mendes – Mercy [Illuminate] – 1,360,000
5. 2019 – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita [Shawn Mendes] – 1,310,000
If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Shawn Mendes playlist on Spotify!
Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that his sales represent 9.60 million times the purchase of his entire discography. Coupled with his total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 73.
Records & Achievements
- At 17,367,000 EAS, Shawn Mendes is the most successful artist who is 21 or less.
- At 5,680,000 EAS, Handwritten is among the 10 most successful albums from 2015.
- At 6,585,000 EAS, Illuminate is among the 10 most successful albums from 2016.
- At 4,678,000 EAS, Shawn Mendes is among the 10 most successful albums from 2018.
- At 102 days, Señorita is the second longest #1 ever on Spotify global chart.
NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.
You may be interested in…
… best-selling artists, albums, and singles
To improve your navigation we created several amazing cross-artists lists posted inside the CSPC: Data Collector article. Click on it to see the full listing of all CSPC results compiled so far!
… similar artists
To put figures from this article into perspective, click on the images below to reach career breakdowns of similar artists:
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!