When everyone though streaming was going to end with teen singers like Justin Bieber, the Canadian superstar crushed records in this format thanks to 2015’s Purpose.
How successful was his last effort from this year, Changes? Home of Yummy and Intentions, its impact doesn’t seem as impressive.
At the mere age of 15, Canadian superstar Justin Bieber instantly became a pop phenomenon following the release of his debut EP, My World. The record was later extended into the even more successful My World 2.0.
While the original EP spawned recognizable songs such as One Time and One Less Lonely Girl, the star scored his first major smash hit with Baby, which was a viral phenomenon and at one point the most-viewed video on YouTube.
In early 2011 while My Worlds 2.0 was still smashing, the star released a concert film centered around his life.
Its accompanying soundtrack which also served as a remix album debuted at #1, giving Bieber his second number one album within 10 months.
Just a few months later, the Canadian teen idol milked his fan base even further with the release of the highly successful Christmas album Under the Mistletoe.
It debuted straight to #1 in the US and his native Canada, consolidating his impressive resume.
The singer wasn’t planning on slowing down, as roughly seven months later he dropped his fifth project in two years, this time a standard studio album, Believe.
As it was to be expected from the pop phenomenon, Believe was highly successful and debuted straight at #1 on top of spawning his highest-peaking song at the time, Boyfriend.
Additionally, the album spawned two other Top 10 hits, As Long As You Love Me and Beauty and a Beat.
The years 2013-2014 were more a bit more difficult for Bieber, as he faced some personal issues and Journals was a struggle in comparison to his previous work.
In 2015, the star managed to come back bigger than ever, proving to be more than just a teen pop fad.
His fourth studio album, Purpose, spawned three consecutive #1 hits in the US, the 1-2-3 punch of What Do You Mean?, Sorry and Love Yourself.
In 2017, he was part of one of the longest running #1s of all time, Despacito.
He also contributed in smashes like Cold Water, Let Me Love You, I’m The One and I Don’t Care.
Up to 5 chart toppers and 15 top 5 hits, the anticipation for his 2020 release Changes was very strong. How has it done so far?
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 Justin Bieber‘ albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will also determine their true popularity.
If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explanations. I fully recommend watching it before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the numbers directly.
– Sales (albums, singles): 2020/10/30
– Streaming (audio, video): 2020/10/30
The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)
There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. In the first place, there is this Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a pair of 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!
Justin Bieber Album Sales
Original Album Sales – Comments
At 9.33 million sales, My Worlds was a tremendous start for the Canadian superstar.
While we have to keep in mind this is essentially the sales of two different releases, not many albums were pulling similar numbers by the end of the 2000s.
Under the Mistletoe looks like a steep decline in comparison but performs quite well for a Christmas album, as it was the 7th best-selling album of 2011 according to the IFPI.
The pop star’s third studio album, Believe, scores similar numbers to Under the Mistletoe, selling 3.18 million to date.
By 2015, streaming had already pretty much taken over the industry, but this did not stop Bieber from selling a massive 4.63 million pure copies of Purpose.
This marks a healthy increase of 45% over his previous effort.
By 2020, the background was again different, with pure sales limited to bundles or collector items.
The hyped release of Changes failed to translate into large sales, with total units to date standing at 325,000.
With five studio albums to his name, Justin Bieber is up to over 20 million albums sold – this figure does not consider other releases, such as Never Say Never: The Remixes, My Worlds Acoustic, and Believe Acoustic.
All those releases sold 1 million or more thanks to the strong fan base of the singer, as we will see under the appropriate section later on this article.
Justin Bieber Songs Sales
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.
I’m sure you have started to be familiar with the evolution of the physical market of singles!
The market was dead every nation but in Japan and GSA countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) by the time Bieber made it big in 2010.
International stars sold virtually no physical singles in Japan so it is all down to Germany which remained somewhat relevant there with 4,3 million CDs sold in 2010.
To give you a rough idea, that’s a market good enough to hit 100,000 with one of the biggest hits of the year, 50,000 units with a #1 single, 20,000 units for a solid Top 5 smash and 10,000 units for most tracks that made the Top 10 various weeks.
Still, thanks to the singer’s strong fan base, Bieber has sold a total of 645,000 physical singles to date.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.
Just like the profile of Bieber is not standard in the music industry, his digital sales are atypical.
Of course, he’s got some large hits including Baby, Boyfriend or Beauty And A Beat but none of them were truly best sellers.
In fact, the power of Bieber‘s catalog isn’t limited to a restricted number of songs. What strikes the most with his digital sales pattern is how consistent his songs are, album tracks included.
His non-singles songs sold millions, amassing a huge total between them.
The best illustration of this situation is likely the Swiss market which combines influences from Germany, France and Italy and as such makes it a meaningful market. In that country, up to 2015, the singer never made the Top 15 as a leading act.
Still, he charted 21 different songs, adding for a large number of sales despite never breaking into the Top 10.
This is how, despite never breaking records with a unique song, and by releasing only three proper albums, he is up to an impressive total of nearly 119.5 million digital singles sold.
If we look at albums specific figures, top songs from the Purpose album moved from 4.6 to 7.6 million a piece, while these figures do not seem very impressive it must be said that digital sales went downhill in the last years with streaming taking over.
Thus, those hits are arguably the biggest hits of Bieber’s career along with Baby.
I Don’t Care also did wonders, shifting over 2.1 million units in a dreadful market. It was helped by tremendous sales in China at 1.18 million to date.
Songs from Changes obviously suffer from the market collapse but they are no big smash hits either. The largest seller, Intentions, moved only 300,000 copies.
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
The 1-2-3 punch of the Purpose singles becomes even more obvious here, as the first three singles of this record are responsible for an enormous total of 5.7 million EAS.
One of the many monsters in this format is DJ Snake‘s Let Me Love You at 1.45 billion streams on Spotify and 2.4 billion views on YouTube for a total of 1.81 million EAS.
Interestingly, every single song inside Bieber‘s personal Top 10 but I Don’t Care was released between 2015 and 2017.
The later will soon become his 8th song to reach the 1 billion plateau on Spotify. He will become the second artist at this level, tying Post Malone. No other artist has more than 5.
Changes songs pop up fairly low in the list. Intentions and Yummy are the 12th and 13th most streamed songs of the artist.
It confirms that low pure sales from this era do not only reflect the market conditions, but also that Changes had nowhere near the impact of Purpose.
Most of the star’s pre 2015 hits register similar numbers between each other – even songs that were not even remotely close in terms of initial success.
On Spotify, the three Top 10 hits from Believe range from 277 million to 297 million, with As Long As You Love Me being the most streamed track.
Being released before the streaming era, Baby displays a rather low 274 million streams on Spotify but a massive 2.66 billion views on YouTube, which is enough for over 726k EAS – a very healthy number for a song released a decade ago.
Full catalog breakdown
If you are familiar with the artist’s catalog and want to check details of each and every song, you can access to all of them right here.
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!
Justin Bieber 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
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.
How to understand this table? In the example of Never Say Never: The Remixes, these figures mean it sold 1,450,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 815,064 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 the My Words album are responsible for 66% of the Never Say Never: The Remixes track list attractiveness. This means it generated 961,000 of its 1,450,000 album sales and so forth for the other records.
Compilations sales figures listing
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Justin Bieber Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Justin Bieber achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!
Albums CSPC results
In the following table, all categories display figures that way, e.g. in equivalent album sales. For example, singles from Purpose released in digital format sold the equivalent of 3,594,000 albums – 23,960,000 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)
And there we have it! My Worlds, alongside its many different releases which included an EP, a live set, a remix album and a DVD / Blu Ray release, has now joined the 20 million club.
This album joins a very limited list of late 2000s/2010s releases that have reached this milestone. It stands at 20.84 million.
Under the Mistletoe continues to grow and is poised to do so again with the Christmas season approaching, it moved 4.28 million EAS to date.
Often labeled as a flop upon release, Believe is now up to 9.56 million EAS, which marks a healthy increase of 550k units since last year’s update.
At this rate, it won’t be long before this album hits the 10 million mark!
Purpose is up to a massive 17.5 million EAS, making it the second biggest album of 2015 only behind Adele‘s 25.
Changes is struggling to climb really high. At 2.75 million this is far from being a low seller, but by Bieber‘s standards it can legitimately be regarded as a flop.
It doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue for the artist who already secured 3 top 10 global hits since then with Stuck With U, Holy and Lonely.
With these tracks and a great catalog traction, the singer still increase his career tally by 9 million in 14 months in spite of an underperforming LP.
Speaking about orphan tracks, they include true blockbusters in the digital field.
Those songs are so strong that even without album sales to account for they still break the 20 million overall figure.
The career total of over 75.3 million equivalent albums makes Justin Bieber one of the youngest artists ever to reach such numbers.
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. 2010 – Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris – Baby [My Worlds] – 6,860,000
2. 2015 – Justin Bieber – Love Yourself [Purpose] – 4,220,000
3. 2015 – Justin Bieber – Sorry [Purpose] – 3,880,000
4. 2015 – Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean? [Purpose] – 3,160,000
5. 2017 – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber – Despacito [Orphan] – 2,350,000
6. 2012 – Justin Bieber – Boyfriend [Believe] – 2,340,000
7. 2016 – DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber – Let Me Love You [Orphan] – 2,250,000
8. 2012 – Justin Bieber ft. Nicki Minaj – Beauty And A Beat [Believe] – 2,210,000
9. 2012 – Justin Bieber ft. Sean Kingston – As Long As You Love Me [Believe] – 2,000,000
10. 2011 – Justin Bieber – Mistletoe [Under The Mistletoe] – 1,990,000
10. 2015 – Justin Bieber – Where Are Ü Now [Purpose] – 1,990,000
12. 2009 – Justin Bieber – One Time [My Worlds] – 1,980,000
13. 2010 – Justin Bieber ft. Usher – Somebody To Love [My Worlds] – 1,890,000
14. 2010 – Sean Kingston & Justin Bieber – Eenie Meenie [My Worlds] – 1,780,000
15. 2016 – Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ – Cold Water [Orphan] – 1,730,000
If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Justin Bieber playlist on Spotify!
Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that his sales represent 16.48 million times the purchase of his entire discography. Coupled with his total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 200.
Records & Achievements
- At 75,284,000 equivalent album sales, Justin Bieber is the highest selling artist born in 1990 or later.
- At 20,841,000 equivalent album sales, My Worlds is the most successful album from 2009.
- At 17,514,000 equivalent album sales, Purpose is the 2nd most successful album from 2015.
- At 7, Justin Bieber has the second most songs over 1 billion streams on Spotify.
- In 2016, Justin Bieber became the first artist ever to reach 10 billion views on Vevo.
- At 9,264,000 equivalent album sales, Purpose is the second biggest streaming album ever.
- At 16 weeks, Despacito is the second longest running #1 single of all-time of the US Hot 100.
- Justin Bieber is the only artist ever to replace itself at #1 of the US Hot 100 two times with entirely different songs.
- In December, 5, 2015, Justin Bieber broke the record for most simultaneous entries inside the US Hot 100 with 17 songs, 3 of which were Top 10.
- At 12xPlatinum, Baby is one of the highest certified single of all-time in the US.
- At 38 weeks, Justin Bieber has the second most weeks at #1 of the UK Singles chart among all acts born after 1950.
- Justin Bieber is the only artist ever to sit simultaneously at #1 and #2 in the UK with 3 different set of songs. He was also the first ever to chart at #1, #2 and #3 simultaneously. chart, 1st among solo male artists.
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!