CSPC: One Direction Popularity Analysis

One Direction Pop Art Digital Portrait

Digital Singles Sales – Part 1

As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1,5 ratio between albums and digital singles.

Up All Night (2011) – 2,280,000 equivalent albums

What Makes You Beautiful – 8,700,000
Gotta Be You – 400,000
One Thing – 2,800,000
More Than This – 400,000
Up All Night – 400,000
Remaining tracks – 2,500,000

Take Me Home (2012) – 1,815,000 equivalent albums

Live While We’re Young – 3,400,000
Kiss You – 2,100,000
Little Things – 2,500,000
Remaining tracks – 4,100,000

Midnight Memories (2013) – 1,875,000 equivalent albums

Best Song Ever – 2,500,000
Story of My Life – 5,000,000
Midnight Memories – 800,000
You & I – 800,000
Remaining tracks – 3,400,000

A modern day classic, What Makes You Beautiful doesn’t stop impressing. Way back in 2011, first week sales of the single, 154,000 units in the UK, were seen as somehow disappointing. This resulted in questioning of One Direction’s ability to face the test of time. Now though, this song has sold a stunning 8,7 million units across the World. Each of the following six global singles released, up to Story of My Life, sold over 2 million units with the aforementioned track standing at 5 million units sold.

Big hits, and solid singles, but also incredible album tracks. We already saw a similar case with Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Acts targeting a teen audience sell immense numbers with their album tracks due to teens having no money to buy the album, instead cherry picking all tracks with their iTunes gift card received for Christmas or their birthday.

Songs from those three albums sold nearly 40 million units with a rare consistency, as tracks from each of them are responsible for more than 12 million sales.

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