Top artists

Top artists

For decades, marketing tricks from labels and lack of education from media led to various myths about the best selling artists of all-time getting repeated so often that the general public assumed it was true.

Today, the same lack of education on the matter continues to be a pain for accuracy lovers. Most of these lists floating around online are either flat lists of RIAA certifications or a mere sum of all certifications from all countries. The first are given only on-request, sparsely for many artists, and relate to the US only. The latter are adding together apples and oranges by mixing distinct formats and different national streaming conversion methods.

Our home-made solution : the CSPC and equivalent album sales

To solve these flaws, we introduced several years ago the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept (CSPC).

If you are not familiar with this concept, it consists in retrieving sales figures from every format and weighting them on par with album sales. That’s what we call equivalent album sales (EAS), or simply CSPC units.

In doing so, we grant that comparisons between artists from different periods make sense, unlike lists based on raw records totals.

The method also secures that the same formula applies to all artists. So we are avoiding issues related to the varying conversion rate used for streaming in different markets as well as by most labels on their communications.

How we work on it

When applying this concept to an artist, our team go into the tank. We analyze all data available, from charts, certifications, internal reports, or official scanning systems. Through the years, we developed various methods to fill the holes, backing all numbers on meaningful indicators. In-between, we have also discovered thousands of receipts.

  Mizzou football chosen for the Cotton Bowl. Here’s who they’ll face & when

To make everything as transparent as it gets, all figures for sales have been detailed on each artist article, available through the link under their name. We also show dates of updates, both for sales and for streams.

The column ‘Other LPs’ includes long formats made of already released material like greatest hits compilations, box sets, live records, bootlegs, and music videos.

Digital singles include both downloads and ringtones. Streaming units include both audio and video streams.