Avicii albums and songs sales

To pass away at 28 is something that shouldn’t happen. Fan or not, we can only moan on such events. The DJ Avicii lost his fight against his demons on April 20, 2018.

From 2012 to 2015, his songs were everywhere. Levels, Wake Me Up and Hey Brother, among others, smashed various charts. The last icon of the long tradition of catchy tunes kings coming from Sweden got his share of success. He led the singles chart for 40 weeks in his homeland over a span of 6 years.

R.I.P Avicii :(

At Chartmasters.org, we haven’t study a DJ’s discography so far. Well known for selling very low amounts of albums, can EDM specialists build a valuable catalog still?

ChartMasters’ method: the CSPC

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) in order to relevantly gauge the act’s results. It will not only bring you sales information for all albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming. In fact, it will really determine the act’s popularity.

If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, below is a nice and short video of explaining the concept. I recommend watching it before reading on and to the sales figures. You’ll get the idea in just two minutes.

And if you 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 detailed sales figures!

Avicii’s original albums sales

True (2013)

Avicii - True (Album).png
  • America
    • US – 360,000
    • Canada – 100,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 50,000
    • Mexico – 100,000
  • Asia – 175,000
    • Japan – 125,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 110,000
    • New Zealand – 10,000
  • Europe – 1,000,000
    • UK – 365,000
    • France – 145,000
    • Germany – 215,000
    • Italy – 22,500
    • Spain – 12,500
    • Sweden – 30,000
    • Netherlands – 35,000
    • Switzerland – 20,000
    • Austria – 45,000
    • Finland – 10,000
  • World – 1,970,000

Stories (2015)

  • America
    • US – 30,000
    • Canada – 10,000
    • Argentina – N/A
    • Brazil – 5,000
    • Mexico – 10,000
  • Asia – 70,000
    • Japan – 55,000
  • Oceania
    • Australia – 10,000
    • New Zealand – N/A
  • Europe – 90,000
    • UK – 30,000
    • France – 12,500
    • Germany – 20,000
    • Italy – 2,000
    • Spain – 1,000
    • Sweden – 10,000
    • Netherlands – 3,000
    • Switzerland – 2,000
    • Austria – 3,000
    • Finland – 1,000
  • World – 230,000

Original Album Sales – Comments

2013 True – 1,970,000
2015 Stories – 230,000

Avicii‘s discography is spread over 10 years since his first singles emerged in 2008. We can see with his album sales the first specificity of DJs – they do not rely on albums. They drop songs from time to time, without following the standard trajectory of singers with album eras well defined.

In fact, most DJs never release proper studio albums. They are given a chance of issuing one only once they proved to be very successful and Avicii has been no exception. By early 2013, he was up to 7 Top 20 hits in Sweden including the huge #1 smash Levels. It took the ground-breaking success of Wake Me Up to see the first full album appear though.

That album was True which sold close to 2 million units. If we compare this number to the success of its singles it looks fairly weak. EDM music is made for partying though. We buy albums of music that we are going to listen to while we are alone. That’s a completely different purpose. Considering its genre, sales of True are extraordinary.

The figure of Stories is much more in line with recent electronic albums with only 230,000 units sold. The real question though is how much its singles did?

Physical Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 3 ratio between one album and one physical single.

Avicii‘s singles performed quite well in physical format. It is not a surprise as this market is now almost entirely dedicated to Maxi / 12″ singles which do well for DJs. Numbers still are obviously low in absolute terms as it is a niche market.

True (2013) – 30000 equivalent albums

Wake Me Up – 70,000
Hey Brother – 30,000

Stories (2015) – 3,000 equivalent albums

Waiting for Love – 10,000

Orphan – 42,000 equivalent albums

My Feelings for You – 20,000
Seek Bromance – 10,000
Malo – 3,000
Street Dancer – 3,000
Fade into Darkness – 5,000
I Could Be the One – 5,000
The Days – 5,000

Digital Singles Sales

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between one album and one digital single.

Digital sales can be broken down into 4 strong markets. US sales, Europe/Canada/Oz sales, South Korean sales and ringtones. This latter format was over when Avicii got big. In South Korea, his popularity is much lower than elsewhere. In the US, he got 3 sizable sellers – Wake Me Up, Levels and Hey Brother, but even them were nowhere near as massive as in Europe.

This market distribution is thus highly unfavorable for Avicii who only enjoyed one of the 4 main sections of the market, European / Australian sales. Worst, his strong places were Scandinavian countries who had already switched to streaming when he released his first hits! That’s why a song like Wake Me Up closes on a relatively disappointing 11,1 million units sold because of the more limited impact in the rest of the World. In Europe, the song was #1 in every official singles chart. On most of them, for many weeks.

True (2013) – 2,904,000 equivalent albums

Wake Me Up – 11,120,000
You Make Me – 960,000
Hey Brother – 4,730,000
Addicted to You – 1,580,000
Lay Me Down – 390,000
Remaining tracks – 580,000

Stories (2015) – 300,000 equivalent albums

Waiting for Love – 1,420,000
For a Better Day – 220,000
Broken Arrows – 150,000
Remaining tracks – 210,000

Orphan – 2,301,000 equivalent albums

Seek Bromance – 740,000
Levels – 5,160,000
Silhouettes – 720,000
I Could Be the One – 1,790,000
My Feelings for You – 420,000
The Days – 570,000
The Nights – 1,320,000
Without You – 340,000
Lonely Together – 340,000
Remaining tracks – 3,940,000

Streaming Sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 132 million of the 212 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Part 1

Streaming is the avenue which best illustrates the popularity of Avicii. Songs from True are impressive. Wake Me Up leads the way with 620 million streams on Spotify, a massive number for a song from 2013. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Thrift Shop by Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, the two songs which outsold Wake Me Up in 2013 as per the IFPI, have much less streams up to date. It also performs incredibly well on YouTube with over 1,8 billion views to date. Hey Brother is a huge runner up while You Make Me and Addicted to You complete a stunning top 4. These performances are good enough to build 1,9 million EAS from streams!

Stories may have sold nearly 10 times less pure sales than True, its streams are healthy too. Waiting For Love is close to half a billion on both Spotify and YouTube. The remaining tracks aren’t as strong but For A Better Day and Broken Arrows still own solid numbers. The album breaks 1 million EAS.

Part 2

Here comes the real difference between a DJ and a singer. Avicii‘s Orphan section contains way more songs than his studio albums. They aren’t irrelevant outtakes, several of them were hits. Levels, I Could Be the One, The Days, The Nights, Without You and Lonely Together are all on 200-350 million streams on Spotify. Songs from this table top 2 billion streams on both Spotify and YouTube, worth nearly 2,8 million EAS.

Full Length related record 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.

How to understand this table? If you check the example of iTunes Festival those figures mean it sold 10,000 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 2,166,321 equivalent album sales from streams of all types.

The second part at the right of the table shows how many streams are coming from each original album plus the share it represents on the overall package streams. Thus, streaming figures tell us True songs are responsible for 73% of the iTunes Festival tracklist attractiveness, which means it generated 70,000 of its 10,000 album sales.

Avicii Career CSPC Results

So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Avicii achieved? Well, at this point we hardly need to add up all of the figures defined in this article!

In the following results table, all categories display figures in equivalent album sales. If different, pure sales are listed between parentheses.

'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)

Artist career totals

See where the artist ranks among remaining singers

Exactly 7 million equivalent album sales. The era of True may not be as huge as widely popular singers, reaching this figure with a stage name barely known by the general public is impressive. Stories isn’t that low after all at 1,6 million. Both album enjoy strong ongoing catalog streams so they are going to climb more and more, especially now considering the sad event.

The Orphan section is huge at over 5 million units in total. Rather than focusing on album’s eras, it really is the way we should interpret the discography of a DJ: Avicii moved nearly 14 million equivalent album sales over the curse of roughly 6 years.

Thanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we can also see that the exploitation of his discography has been poorly handled. Indeed, Avicii‘s Equivalent Discography Sales (EDS) stand on 9,7 million. Added to his CSPC units, this implies an ASR score of 66. That puts him higher than Lana Del Rey and Aaliyah and just under Ariana Grande.

The following pages list his most successful songs as well as his records and achievements.

As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!

Sources: IFPI, Spotify, YouTube, Discogs, Chartmasters.org.


Biggest tracks – Avicii

The list of most successful songs is compiled in album equivalent sales generated by each of them. It includes the song’s own physical singles sales with a 0,3 weighting, its download and streaming sales, and with appropriate weighting too, plus its share among sales of all albums on which it is featured.

  1. 2013 – AviciiWake Me Up [True]3,510,000
  2. 2013 – AviciiHey Brother [True]1,630,000
  3. 2011 – AviciiLevels [Orphan]1,140,000
  4. 2015 – AviciiWaiting for Love [Stories]900,000

Records & Achievements

  • Avicii has got 7 #1 singles which led charts for 40 weeks in Sweden.
  • Levels and Wake Me Up are respectively #1 and #2 of all-time among best performing chart-songs in Sweden.
  • Wake Me Up was the biggest selling song of 2013 in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • Wake Me Up has hit #1 in every single European country which had an official chart.
  • Wake Me Up is the only song ever which went to #1 in the UK in back-to-back years with different versions.
  • From October 2013 to Feb 22, 2015, Wake Me Up was the most streamed song ever on Spotify. It is also the longest stay at the top of the all-time ranking.

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