The truth about Britney Spears’ album sales in Europe

English Speaking countries – UK

As mentioned in previous articles, intervals of certifications are much less useful when figures for the related country are already pretty much under control. This is the case with sales from the UK. Thanks to the OCC data, we can see that estimates fall always in the correct ballpark except when the album went on to sell a bit more afterwards.

So, what do we really know about Britney‘s albums sales in the UK? Baby One More Time (BOMT) moved 1,048,000 copies by the end of 2000. By March of that year it was awarded a third Platinum certification for 900,000 units which is fairly logical. The album sold decently from 2001 to 2004, with the singer remaining popular and no compilation blocking it. Her Greatest Hits was issued at the end of that year, killing the sales of her studio albums. Obviously, BOMT shot to #53 in January 2005, but it was precisely thanks to heavy promotions to clear copies left on shelves now that the dark horse of her catalog was the new best of album. On the positive side for her studio albums, Oops sold 823,000 copies by the end of 2001.

By the release of Blackout, the OCC revealed the diva had sold 4,001,000 albums in the UK. It included 42,000 units from the first week of that 2007 set, 456,000 units from Britney and 527,000 copies from In The Zone. Greatest Hits had sold 840,000 units by June 2007 and remained selling 1,000 copies per week until the arrival of Blackout. Putting all the figures together, we reach below scanned sales by November 2007:

  • Baby One More Time – 1,210,000
  • Oops!… I did It Again – 900,000
  • Britney – 456,000
  • In The Zone – 527,000
  • Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 860,000
  • Blackout – 42,000
  • Other releases – 6,000

Those figures are highly interesting. By then, BOMT was still 3xP as per the BPI while was already showing it as a 4xP album, which confirms again the validity of this source. In the same way, Greatest Hits, which made 3xP by 2013 when auto-certifications have been introduced, was shown as 2xP in listing. This is fully correct too as with 860,000 sales it still had to sell some more copies before breaking the 900,000 units plateau.

What about the albums that released afterwards? Blackout sold 263,000 units by the end of 2008 and still hasn’t broken Platinum status (as confirmed by the BPI). Circus was up to 344,000 by the end of 2009. The Singles Collection had sold 78,000 units by January 2011 and over 100,000 by 2013.

We must say that apart from compilations, Britney‘s catalog sales are dreadful. From 2007 to 2016, In The Zone sold a mere 7,000 copies in spite of containing the biggest catalog hits of the pop star. The Britney album sold 4,000 copies in the same time frame.

A last important comment to make is, all those figures come from the OCC, which isn’t 100% accurate. Oops shifted roughly 850,000 copies by November 2002 when it got certified 3xP. Obviously a few copies shipped were still on retailers shelves, but considering the album’s promotion was long over, there was clearly less than 50,000 copies remaining on store shelves. This means figures from OCC are a bit too low for her earlier albums.

Merging all the data together concludes on the following total album sales to date:

  • Baby One More Time – 1,260,000
  • Oops!… I did It Again – 950,000
  • Britney – 475,000
  • In The Zone – 550,000
  • Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 1,025,000
  • Blackout – 300,000
  • Circus – 380,000
  • The Singles Collection – 175,000
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