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Comprehensive Sales information of all Beatles records in all formats

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MJD, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Hello everyone,

    After years in the thinking, weeks in the making, here comes the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC) article about the Beatles.

    The article contains not only all sales information - please ask in the blog comments if clarifications / explanations of sources are needed - but also formulas to better define the real popularity of each of their albums and songs.

    The comprehensive article is here.

    Abbey Road is their biggest album at 43 million equivalent album sales generated. In total, they sold 404 million equivalent albums, way ahead of Madonna at 244 million or the Rolling Stones at 234 million. All studied artists are listed on this page. This is a continuation of this thread but since it treats about the Beatles I though it was well deserving a thread on its own.

    Feel free to copy specific sales information in the thread - after weeks at compiling everything, I'm just not faithful enough to take the time to copy / present correctly all main results!
     
    Izozeles and Laibach like this.
  2. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    The concept




    The final results

    [​IMG]

      • 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 extracted from the album (ratio 10/3)
    • Download Singles: sales of digital singles extracted from the album (ratio 10/1)
    • Streaming: equivalent album sales of all the album tracks (ratio 1500/1)
     
    Laibach likes this.
  3. stollar

    stollar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bærum Norway
    Interesting observation > i see you have decreased the number on several
    albums since your last study in 2009 i think..

    Red album sales now 22 million, then 24,6 million
    Blue album sales now 22.8 million, then 24.6million
    AHDN album sales now 9.350 million, then 10.2 million
    Sgt.pepper album sales now 24.8 million, then 26.2 million
     
  4. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Yes stollar you are correct. The last update was done in 2011. Gaps have different sources. For Red / Blue, figures I owned about several markets appeared to be double counted due to them being double albums. There is still various sites like Infodisc (for France) which state fanciful information for them. For Sgt Pepper's, I had voluntarily let the 5m+ OCC claim for UK sales at the time, to stick with official data, although commenting that figure was erroneous. I changed my mind about such cases, rather than going after the "accepted tally", I try to stick with purely realistic net shipment to date.

    For earlier albums, I had put every local releases together. Now I took more time to estimate each of them individually. Thus they aren't merged - unless truly similar - anymore and are represented in the Compilation category. In the same way, sales of box sets not listed in previous study were directly assigned to each album, while now I made they appear distinctly. The target was to separate everything as much as possible when it comes to raw data to avoid interpretations.

    One of the countries where I really changed figures is Australia. I'm still waiting for a validation of their 2009 certifications not being comprehensive. On purpose I remained fairly conservative for this reason.
     
    Zeki likes this.
  5. stollar

    stollar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bærum Norway
    Thanks for the explanation, do you know how many albums they sold in my home country Norway ?.
     
  6. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Well to be honest there isn't much sales information from Norway. Their charts are easily available for long, going back to the 60s, but we can only rely on a few certifications for sales.

    Anthology 1 went Gold (20k) in 1996, Blue compilation CD reissue got the same mark in 1997 while One reached 3xP (120k) in 2001. They sold ~1,7m albums in Sweden and close to 500k in Finland, in all likelyhood they would have sold in the 750-1000k ballpark in Norway.
     
  7. stollar

    stollar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bærum Norway
    Thanks.. My only info from Norway is > Abbey Road sold around 125,000 up to 1980.
    Ifpi Norway said that "One"was the 6th biggest selling album of the 2000s with sales
    of about 175,000. As of 01.12.09 the mono box had sold 1588 copies, the stereo box
    had sold 4777 copies, the individual remastered cds had sold 27,412 up to that point.
     
  8. stollar

    stollar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bærum Norway
    Looks like Sgt.Pepper will get a nice sales increase this summer :).
     
  9. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Yes definitely!

    Plus, as it is re-released 'alone' rather than in the middle of the entire catalog with boxes, the impact should be even more visible. With sales so low at the moment and thus so favorable for old glories, Sgt Pepper's may have a shot to #1 in various countries depending on the competition.
     
  10. stollar

    stollar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bærum Norway
    Would be cool if it got to nr 1, do you think this reissue will manage to sell
    1 mill all versions combined ?. It will get tons of media coverage .
     
  11. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Nowadays 1m is a lot of copies but I still think it is doable, maybe even more. It is possible that its CSPC total tops Let It Be and Help! thanks to this new release - although Abbey Road is clearly safe as their most successful album yet!
     
  12. stollar

    stollar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bærum Norway
    Yeah looks like Abbey Road will be the nr 1 for a long time..Just
    got the annual report for Norway in 2016, streaming now has 83 % of the market
    up from 78 % in 2015, downloads 4 % down from 6 % in 2015, and physical 13 %
    down from 17 % in 2015. Sweden must be the only country were streaming
    has a higher % of the market.
     
  13. emjel

    emjel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    Sorry but unless you have access to the record labels actual sales figures, I cannot possibly see how these numbers can be close to being really accurate. Until those figures are given out officially by the record companies, then all the permutations in the world will never convince me they are any more accurate than other figures that have been supplied throughout the years.
     
  14. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    All figures up to 1980 fit with EMI statements of the Beatles overall sales. While they never communicated later on their sales, numbers from the likes RIAA, IFPI, BPI etc are fully "official" too. The unknown estimated area out of the whole picture is fairly small.
     
  15. irong

    irong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    I was wondering, are those database public domain or do you have to pay to access them?
     
  16. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Which database do you refer to exactly?
     
  17. irong

    irong Forum Resident

    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Well, I assumed when you mention the likes of RIAA and IFPI you use some database of theirs to gather your numbers from.
     
  18. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    All RIAA certifications are available at their website. I have all 1996 to date European Platinum from the IFPI too as well as the Top 50 Global album chart they publish since 2001.

    From previous years, David Kronemyer published various Annual Reports of majors, including EMI since the 90s, so all Beatles releases since have their official sales knwon. Same for Universal which put their Top 10 albums with real net shipment on the Vivendi Financial Report published every year.

    In reality, most of the official information is known. The point is that such financial reports are fully ignored with people checking Wikipedia instead, which makes it look like a huge mess while anyone educated on the matter will easily sort the truth out of it.
     
  19. emjel

    emjel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    As I understand it, the thing with RIAA Certifications is that if a record falls below a threshold on certification, the actual sales are effectively ignored. So if an album only sells 495,000 units, which means it does not qualify for an award, those sales are supposedly not included anywhere.
     
  20. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    This is true but doesn't really matter still.

    All US album sales of the Beatles are known up to 1985 as David Kronemyer published yearly figures. Then since 1991 Soundscan provides detailed information and Beatles scanned figures are known too. Since their albums haven't been available on Music Clubs (which aren't scanned), they are fully covered. The only mere period requiring estimations for the Beatles is 1986-1990 but with RIAA certs filling in the gap and then knowing yearly sales up to 85 and since 91 it turns out easy to gauge, even more with shipments of CD releases known as well.

    The "mistery" is only on forums really.
     
  21. emjel

    emjel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    So why doesn't the above link go beyond 1985 - why is there such a huge gap between RIAA figures at 178 million and the gross figures in the above link. I realise that the above only goes to 1985 which shows total sales of 75 million, but it seems difficult to believe that 103 million were sold between then and 2011 unless the figures given with DK require adjustment for the said period.
     
  22. MJD

    MJD Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    France, Paris
    Because David left his job after that year. The RIAA figure uses double counting (each double album is counted as 2) and of course the Beatles sold plenty of records in last 32 years (67m since 1991).

    Also, there is a few specific cases in David figures for albums which were issued differently, most notably A Hard Day's Night and Let It Be, there is 7 million to add there. Plus obviously the few millions sold by non-EMI albums but their sales are also known thanks to the court case which happened at the time.
     
  23. lennonfan1

    lennonfan1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    baltimore maryland
    perhaps I am a bit dense here, but where are albums like the VJ Intro. the Beatles or American versions or 8-track reel playtape cassette versions or bootlegs or.....:)
     
  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    You expect a count of bootlegs?
     
  25. emjel

    emjel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool
    Whilst I realise there are over the top claims of 1 billion sales worldwide, I firmly believe that their total sales are a bit closer to 500 million, but I guess until EMI make a proper statement, which is probably unlikely, we will never know with 100% accuracy what is correct.
    I'm still interested to know why Elvis' sales have not been analysed in an in depth manner, especially as there are similar claims of anything between 600 million and 1 billion for him with fans saying that he has easily outsold The Beatles, and whilst I am an Elvis fan myself, I am not convinced that he has. But if he has, that must surely be down to the amount of physical product released compared to that of The Beatles. In their career lifespan of 8 years, 14 main albums compared with over 60 for Elvis in 23 years. The battle goes on.
     
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