Sam Smith albums and songs sales
A decade and 4 albums into their career, Sam Smith continues to do wonders as shown by the mega success of Unholy featuring Kim Petras.
From In The Lonely Hour to Gloria, how many units have each of their LPs moved so far?
A few words about the artist
Sam Smith, born 19 May 1992 in London, England, broke over the main audience in 2013 when his features on Disclosure‘s hit Latch and Naughty Boy‘s La La La got big.
A year later, solo hits started to drop at fast pace, from Money on My Mind to Stay with Me to I’m Not the Only One.
These singles made their parent album In the Lonely Hour one of the most successful records of the mid-10s, and Sam Smith to become one of the most emblematic faces among openly gay people.
It took a few more years until the singer saw himself as non-binary, adopting the pronoun they. During this period and afterwards, Sam Smith they continued to drop one album every 3 years.
If their debut album still feels like their peak, The Thrill of It All (2017), Love Goes (2020), and Gloria (2023) have in common to be home for big hits too.
The Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC)
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Smith‘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.
There are two ways to understand this revolutionary concept. In the first place, there is this Scribe video posted below. If you are unaware of the CSPC method, you will get the full idea within just a pair of 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!
Sam Smith Album Sales
Updated Studio Album Sales & Comments
By mid-10s, selling over 6.7 million units in just pure album sales is extraordinary. Even more so when you are a fresh new act with no established fan base, and who will appeal to young people who never used to buy records in their lifetime.
This negative context explains why this figure makes In The Lonely Hour the biggest selling debut album in years. In fact, Smith tops the likes of One Direction, Lana Del Rey, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Lorde. To find a higher selling debut album you will need to go all the way back to Bruno Mars‘ modern-day classic album, 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans.
These numbers were virtually impossible to replicate. The Thrill of It All could have done better, just like it could have done worse. In any case, this time by 2017’s standards, 1.7 million is already solid.
Love Goes is one of these albums which got forever delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also contained half a dozen songs which came out up to 2 years earlier, leading to little general public interest in this release. It sold 8 times less than its immediate predecessors, and more than 30 times less than their debut album.
Considering today’s context for pure sales, Gloria was unlikely to reverse the trend even with the success of Unholy. Its pure sales are indeed low, still below the 6 digits threshold.
Sam Smith 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 one album and one physical single.
With a debut single coming out in 2012, Smith had no chance to score significant numbers with physical singles.
Their sales are limited to collectors for the biggest and earliest hits. With this in mind, the largest seller logically ends up being Writing’s On The Wall as James Bond themes always benefit from heavy collectors.
As a reminder, the weighting is done with a 10 to 1.5 ratio between one album and one digital single.
The leading smash among digital hits is obviously Stay With Me. This ground-breaking ballad is up to 9 million sales including over 4.7 million downloads in the US.
Then comes I’m Not The Only One close behind at over 8 million. This may seem surprising as this song sold just over half the figures Stay With Me sold in both the US and the UK. However, it has been an insane blockbuster in South Korea where it is over 3 million sales.
Next up are features, Latch was huge in the US as was La La La in Europe. Both have similar tallies of over 4.4 million.
Lay Me Down, combining both versions solo and with John Legend, easily cracks 3 million while Money on My Mind, Like I Can, Writing’s on the Wall and Too Good at Goodbyes are all million sellers.
The new single, Too Good at Goodbyes, has a long way to go before reaching such heights, but in all fairness nowadays it is all about streaming.
Obviously, figures are much lower for more recent material as streaming took over the market. Still, well over half a million is very solid for 2018/2019 songs like Dancing with a Stranger and Promises, while Unholy is smashing hard by 2022/2023 standards now past 300,000 sales.
Career-wise that’s about 43 million sales for Sam Smith.
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 * 100 / 4 (AWA has 4% of the Japanese streaming market)
– Arabic world: Anghami streams
– Sub-Saharan Africa: Boomplay + Audiomack streams
– Elsewhere: Spotify streams * Spotify market shares based on artists’ market distribution
– 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 * ArtistRatio + Genie * 2.20 + AWA * 100 / 4 + Anghami + Boomplay + Audiomack ) / 1500 + ( QQ views* 50(or 5) + YouTube * 1.1 ) / 6750
What’s Sam Smith‘s signature song? Now that’s something nearly impossible to tell.
Their top 3 on streaming platforms are incredibly close, at over 2.3 million EAS apiece, each with dominant figures in some platforms.
All 3 of them are slowly but surely approaching 2 billion streams on Spotify, while I’m Not the Only One is already past this number on YouTube.
These terrific results push down songs as strong as Dancing with a Stranger, itself over a billion on both sides, Spotify and YouTube.
It is poised to go down still as Unholy is catching up at an impressive pace, it’s one of the most recent songs to be over 1 billion streams.
The density of their catalog is quite something, with Promises, How Do You Sleep? and Lay Me Down also over 1 million EAS. Latch would be there comfortably if it wasn’t halved by 2 since it’s a feature.
In the other side, Sam Smith has been unable to secure large streams for deeper cuts. The pattern is unusual. They claim 13 songs with 545+ million streams on Spotify, 8 songs ranging from 180 million to 408 million, and then from the 22nd song streams drop suddenly to 66 million and below.
A positive sign is that each of the 4 albums contain at least one song inside their top 5. The volume of hits on In The Lonely Hour is unmatched though, so it reigns supreme among albums with nearly 10 million EAS.
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 fetches updated Spotify streams as you request them, use it to watch these results grow day after day!
Sam Smith 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? In the example of Live At Abbey Road Studios, these figures mean it sold 7,500 units worldwide. The second statistics column means all versions of all the songs included on this package add for 10,542,283 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 the In the Lonely Hour album are responsible for 32% of Live At Abbey Road Studios track list attractiveness. This means it generated 2,000 of its 7,500 album sales and so forth for the other records. We then apply this process to all compilations present on the table.
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.
Total Album (all types) Sales per Country
Please note country-specific numbers may miss sales of a few minor releases, although totals are complete.
Sam Smith Career CSPC Results
So, after checking all the figures, how many overall equivalent album sales has each album by Sam Smith 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.
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
In The Lonely Hour closes counts on a superb 21 million plus units across all formats. One of the only 13 albums from the 2010s to cross the 20 million milestone, it belongs to 2014’s big three along with Taylor Swift‘s 1989 and Ed Sheeran‘s X.
As many of its tracks were successful before the release of the album, total sales of Love Goes are a bit of a shocker. Often seen as a flop era, the album outperforms The Thrill of It All, both with totals climbing towards 7 million.
Gloria is on its way to reach 2 million. It has yet to be seen if more tracks will take off after the success of Unholy, but the album remains young and in our day and age we never know which song(s) will go viral in the future.
So far, we can look at Sam Smith numbers both sides, either stating that they are going down a lot, or that they are still registering multi-million sales with each releases. Not much is missing until Gloria secures 3 million or even 4 million units in the longer run, so the latter summary may be the best way to sum it up.
With additional orphan songs and features, Sam Smith stands at 38 million equivalent album sales, a total that will reach 40 million in 2023.
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.
Discography resultsThanks to our new ASR (Artist Success Rating) concept, we know that sales represent 21.09 million times the purchase of entire discography. Coupled with total sales, it translates into an ASR score of 158. The ranking of all artists studied so far is available too at this link.
Records & Achievements
- At 21,414,000 EAS, In The Lonely Hour is the 3rd most successful album from 2014.
- At 6,755,000 pure sales, In The Lonely Hour is the largest selling debut album since 2011 to date.
- With Unholy, Sam Smith became the first non-binary artist to top the Hot 100.
NB: EAS means Equivalent Album Sales.
Dynamic Spotify Key Performance Indicators
Please note that numbers below are retrieved automatically, so they will evolve day by day unlike previously listed data which is valid as of the publication date of the article.
Current followers count: 23,299,890 23,000,000 followers have been reached on 08/16/23 22,000,000 followers have been reached on 03/08/23 21,000,000 followers have been reached on 12/13/22 20,000,000 followers have been reached on 09/08/22 19,000,000 followers have been reached on 09/07/22 20,000,000 followers have been reached on 08/22/22 19,000,000 followers have been reached on 03/11/22 18,000,000 followers have been reached on 11/17/21 17,000,000 followers have been reached on 08/01/21 16,000,000 followers have been reached on 04/02/21 15,000,000 followers have been reached on 01/10/21 14,000,000 followers have been reached on 10/12/20 13,000,000 followers have been reached on 07/13/20 >> Daily breakdown
Sam Smith is #66 among the most followed artists of all-time >> Visit our Top 5,000 most followed artists ranking
Current streams count: 22,373,568,490 22,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 01/10/24 21,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 08/17/23 20,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 05/03/23 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/08/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/07/23 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/04/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/03/23 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/02/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 03/01/23 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/26/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/24/23 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/19/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/18/23 19,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/15/23 18,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 11/29/22 17,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 09/27/22 16,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 04/28/22 15,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 11/20/21 14,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 08/04/21 13,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 02/20/21 12,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 10/18/20 11,000,000,000 streams have been reached on 07/14/20 >> Daily breakdown
Sam Smith is #29 among the most streamed artists of all-time Popularity Rating: /100 >> Visit our Top 1,000 most streamed artists ranking >> Visit our Top 20 highest rated artists ranking
Current monthly listeners: 51,543,170 (Trend: -1,298,997) Global chart position: #42 The artist top 50 cities come from 29 distinct countries >> Global impact breakdown
As usual, feel free to comment and / or ask a question!
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