The truth about Britney Spears’ album sales in Europe

SoutheRN EUROPE – Italy

Italy is an atypical country for charts and sales followers. Their organization, the FIMI, has been considerably improving its services lately. Before 2009, their input was close to null, but at the same time other publications, most notably Musica e Dischi, published highly valuable data about their industry.

No album from Britney has reached even Gold since the introduction of the official database in 2009. In all fairness, even her early albums haven’t sold a lot in comparison to remaining A-League stars Worldwide. In fact, Glory was the first Top 3 album of her career there. A result achieved mostly thanks to the non-existing competition, coupled with heavily front loaded sales. Among all European countries that had an album chart by 2003, Italy is where Britney was peaking at the lowest positions with In The Zone never climbing higher than #16.

Impressively, Greatest Hits managed to stay Top 20 during the entire 2004 Christmas season, ending as one of her top sellers there. Selling nearly 5,000 units in 2009 alone, almost the same as all her pre-Circus albums combined that year, it moved from 1xP to 2xP between 2006 and 2011 listings.

The figure in red in the table is the estimation of In The Zone. The album debuted at #16 in November 2003 and charted for 34 weeks. An estimation of 100,000 units is reasonable in that case. How come it hasn’t sold more than 70,000 copies then? The lack of information brings errors. Unlike websites of other countries, the Italian one only includes the chart run while the album features inside the Top 20, which means only the debut week for ITZ. Had the album remained Top 30 at Christmas time, it would have been easily enough to climb up to 100,000 sales. Given the final results, it seems obvious the album dropped to the bottom of the Top 100 at Christmas before recovering in early 2004 – thanks to Toxic – when sales are low. In terms of catalog sales, it is also the worst performing album among Britney‘s catalog there with a mere 300 sales in 2009 against five times more for Oops and BOMT.

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

  • Baby One More Time – 200,000
  • Oops!… I did It Again – 200,000
  • Britney – 100,000
  • In The Zone – 70,000
  • Greatest Hits, My Prerogative – 150,000
  • Blackout – 40,000
  • Circus – 55,000
  • The Singles Collection – 15,000
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