Hype or consistency. Albums in particular and artists in general hope to get one of those two types of success.
The global impact of the 2012 album Born To Die upon release was immense for an unknown artist. How does Lana Del Rey, now up to 7 studio albums, perform a decade after her single Video Games went viral on YouTube?
The out-of-the-blue success of Born To Die was all the more surprising given the diva dropped a first album, Lana Del Ray, a couple of years earlier, selling close to zero copies.
Big debuts for new artists are almost always the consequence of a previous participation into a heavily popular TV show. Lana Del Rey had no such exposure, exploding on the back of a first single that instantly turned iconic, a la Arctic Monkeys when they stormed the UK charts way back in 2005/2006, or Lorde with Royals.
Songs like Born To Die, Young And Beautiful and Summertime Sadness were big too, promising a bright future for the talented new star. A story is never written in advance though, and after that string of well known tunes she seems to be mostly off the radar.
Is she still selling well? Last year, she issued no less than two studio albums, how have they done? How does Born To Die stand against contemporary albums from massively popular stars like Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga?
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Lana Del Rey‘s 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.
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!
Lana Del Rey Album Sales
Original Album Sales – Comments
Over 10.2 million album sales in original format after seven albums is great nowadays. Having the first album making up over 60% of that figure is worrying however.
Born to Die was definitely a beast. Its trajectory was interesting. It didn’t dominate the charts for 12 months as most big albums do. It debuted in great fashion, then it entered into a never-ending loop of average weekly sales. Average for an album hyped three months before, great for an album issued over 10 years ago.
The US is the most striking illustration of that case study. The LP debuted at #2 with solid sales, but dropped out of the Top 10 for good on week 2. By week 3, it was down to #36 and during its complete run it never charted higher than #20. A bit shabby, isn’t it?
Well, not when 10 years after release the record is up to 443 weeks on charts and counting. An incontestable modern day classic, if sales of Born to Die are great, they are only going to increase more and more in the future.
The situation gets even more atypical with the record outlasting every new album by the artist with ease. Ultraviolence and Honeymoon failed to gain traction as shown with their figures.
Following albums haven’t change the downward trend, but they at least maintained a similar status.
Both Lust for Life and Norman Fucking Rockwell! moved over half a million sales, while Chemtrails over the Country Club and Blue Banisters sold less but still nearly 600,000 units combined.
Lana Del Rey songs sales
Below, we list down results from the artist through physical sales, digital sales and streaming.
Please be aware that when the artist is regarded as the lead act, he is rewarded with 100% of these units, while featured acts share among them a 50% piece of the totals.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between albums and digital singles.
The market of physical singles was almost dead by 2012. The era of Born to Die was heavily collected by fans though, plus several of its hits singles were huge in Germany, the last standing relevant country outside Japan for this format by that time.
The main one was Video Games which sold in excess of half a million copies there overall. Even if the majority of those sales came in digital form, the CD did well too, just like in France.
Some collectors were released later on, but none passed 5,000 units.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1.5 ratio between albums and digital singles.
Summertime Sadness, mostly thanks to the remix from Cedric Gervais, is the only song that gained heavy rotation on US radio stations.
This helped selling the song in large quantities. The disappearance of ringtones by 2012, and the lack of success by Lana Del Rey in main digital markets of Asia, limit these figures. Still 5.58 million is a great total.
Video Games, Born to Die and Blue Jeans all sold past 1 million in spite of very low sales in the US upon release. They enjoyed a great showing here and there in Europe, but also kept selling steady amounts for several years.
The song Young and Beautiful, extracted from The Great Gatsby soundtrack, was largely purchased as the perfect addition to Born to Die.
Similarly to original album sales, both the drop in fame, and of the market overall, conclude on an abrupt decrease of sales era after era. The singer has still sold a nice total of over 24 million singles in digital forms.
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 * 2.20 (consistent with Gaon streaming numbers)
– Japan: AWA streams * 68 / 4 (AWA has 4% of the Japanese streaming market, and 32% are already considered through Spotify’s extrapolation)
– Arabic world: Anghami streams
– Sub-Saharan Africa: Boomplay + Audiomack streams
– Elsewhere: Spotify streams * 649 / 406 (649 million subscribers of global platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, etc. against 406 million from Spotify itself) + Genie streams * 2.20 (uses Genie rather than Spotify to extrapolate markets like Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam)
– China* : QQ video streams * 50 if the song is available for audio stream, QQ video streams * 5 elseway (scale built based on known figures for several major artists)
– Elsewhere : Youtube views increased by 10% to account for various local platforms
*since Chinese streaming platforms are mostly video streaming platforms, their streams are weighted on par with YouTube streams.
Audio Stream value – 1,500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream value – 6,750 views equal 1 album unit
Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = ( Spotify * 649/406 + Genie * 2.20 * 2 + AWA * 68 / 4 + Anghami + Boomplay + Audiomack ) / 1500 + ( QQ views* 50(or 5) + YouTube * 1.1 ) / 6750
The biggest song on downloads is also the leader on streams. Summertime Sadness enjoys a comfortable lead, with huge figures for a 2012 track.
It claims over 1.1 billion streams on Spotify while getting up to 1.2 billion on YouTube.
Young and Beautiful is a solid runner up, with especially good numbers in Asia, where songs from soundtracks have more room to get big.
The Born to Die trio Video Games, Born to Die and Blue Jeans combine for 1.7 million equivalent album sales from streams. These numbers put Born to Die, at 5.76 million overall, among the very best streaming albums from its era.
Its consistency is also amazing with most of its tracks at more than 100 million streams on Spotify, which highlights very well how much people consume it in its entirety.
The good surprise is to see that several later albums also managed great streaming numbers.
The prime example is Norman Fucking Rockwell! which claims no less than 8 songs at 100 million or more.
This album, along with Ultraviolence and Lust For Life, record 1.8 million sales from streams each, which are definitely great figures.
Even Honeymoon gained some kind of cult status, now with 1 million units.
While the streaming market is now higher than ever, Chemtrails over the Country Club and Blue Banisters are far and away from their predecessors. They will also need to gain traction in the long run if they don’t want their numbers to pale in comparison.
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!
Lana Del Rey 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 Paradise line, those figures mean it sold 715,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 852,055 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 Born to Die are responsible for 93% of Paradise tracklist attractiveness, which means it generated 666,000 of its 715,000 album sales 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.
Incredibly, all sales come either from the Born to Die songs or from orphan, due to the presence of her early song Yayo on Paradise and early EPs and albums.
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Lana Del Rey Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each Lana Del Rey album 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 results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.
|#||Cover||Album||Total CSPC||Sales*||Streams||Total CSPC|
|Studio Albums||Other LPs||Physical Singles||Digital Singles||Last verified||Auto update||Daily Increase|
|1||Born to Die||15,376,000||6,240,000||751,000||60,000(201,000)||2,324,000(15,500,000)||5,763,000 (08/05/22)||5,998,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 4,790LD: 0||15,376,000|
|2||Ultraviolence||3,863,000||1,560,000||0||1,000(4,000)||355,000(2,370,000)||1,832,000 (08/05/22)||1,947,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 2,340LD: 0||3,863,000|
|3||Honeymoon||1,915,000||785,000||0||0(0)||111,000(740,000)||987,000 (08/05/22)||1,019,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 640LD: 0||1,915,000|
|4||Lust for Life||2,511,000||575,000||0||2,000(5,000)||122,000(810,000)||1,762,000 (08/05/22)||1,812,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 1,010LD: 980||2,511,000|
|5||Norman Fucking Rockwell!||2,473,000||510,000||0||0(0)||59,000(390,000)||1,792,000 (08/05/22)||1,904,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 2,290LD: 0||2,473,000|
|6||Chemtrails over the Country Club||761,000||375,000||0||0(0)||7,000(50,000)||360,000 (08/05/22)||379,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 380LD: 0||761,000|
|7||Blue Banisters||568,000||210,000||0||0(0)||3,000(20,000)||321,000 (08/05/22)||355,000 (09/23/22)||Av.: 690LD: 0||568,000|
|*Pure sales figures updated on 08/05/22. 'Av.' stands for Average, 'LD' for Last Day.|
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 1/6750 for Video stream)
Over 15 million! The never ending success of Born to Die shoot it to more than 15 million equivalent album sales to make it one of the most successful 2010s record.
Something really uncommon for a contemporary artist is how one album leads all sales metrics, and it does so with a lead of over 3 to 1!
It is currently registering over 5,000 units every single day, which means it will continue to move into higher grounds as years pass.
Obviously, the album has no challenger inside Lana Del Rey‘s discography. It wouldn’t be fair to call her a one-album wonder yet.
In fact, she has 3, soon 4, albums in the multi-million area, and they tend to accelerate.
Ultraviolence for example has been growing a lot lately. Up to 2.3 million by late 2017, it’s now at 3.8 million.
Honeymoon is closing in 2 million, while both Lust For Life and Norman Fucking Rockwell! are already over this mark.
Chemtrails over the Country Club and Blue Banisters are really struggling for now, both nowhere near a million so far.
Career-wise Lana Del Rey is on her way to break the 30 million mark.
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. 2012 – Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness [Born to Die] – 3,750,000
2. 2011 – Lana Del Rey – Video Games [Born to Die] – 1,920,000
3. 2011 – Lana Del Rey – Born to Die [Born to Die] – 1,470,000
4. 2013 – Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful [Orphan] – 1,360,000
5. 2011 – Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans [Born to Die] – 1,250,000
If you feel inspired by this list, we just created this CSPC Lana Del Rey playlist on Spotify!
Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that her sales represent 9,21 million times the purchase of their discography. Coupled with her total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 93. The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.
Records & Achievements
- At 15,141,000 EAS, Born to Die is the 4th most successful album from 2012.
- At 15,141,000 EAS, Born to Die is the 7th most successful female album from the 2010s.
NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.
Dynamic Spotify Key Performance Indicators
Lana Del Rey
Current followers count: 17,808,350 17,000,000 followers have been reached on 07/16/22 16,000,000 followers have been reached on 04/21/22 15,000,000 followers have been reached on 01/10/22 14,000,000 followers have been reached on 09/16/21 13,000,000 followers have been reached on 05/21/21 12,000,000 followers have been reached on 01/23/21 11,000,000 followers have been reached on 08/25/20 >> Daily breakdown
Lana Del Rey is #73 among the most followed artists of all-time >> Visit our Top 200 most followed artists ranking
Current streams count: 12,515,845,404 12,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 08/09/22 11,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 07/26/22 12,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 07/25/22 11,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 04/16/22 10,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 11/30/21 >> Daily breakdown
Lana Del Rey is #55 among the most streamed artists of all-time Popularity Rating: 87/100 >> Visit our Top 1,000 most streamed artists ranking >> Visit our Top 20 highest rated artists ranking
Current monthly listeners: 29,533,064 (Trend: 1,155,459) Global chart position: #90 The artist top 50 cities come from 26 distinct countries >> Global impact breakdown
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!