Coldplay album sales : New album predictions and past figures

Coldplay album sales : The past, present and future

With the release of Ghost Stories, Coldplay are set to score a sixth UK number 1 album in a row, only one behind the seven The Beatles accomplished from their debut, Please Please Me in 1963 to Revolver in 1966 and set to be one in front of fellow UK band, Keane, who also have a perfect run of number 1 albums in the UK! Coldplay have also enjoyed a 100% album number 1 record in Norway. In the US album market, Coldplay are about to achieve their fourth US number 1 album in a row since their first number 1 album, X&Y.

The humble beginnings : Parachutes (2000)

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Coldplay immediately made their mark on UK album charts, after the 1st single from Parachutes, Shiver, reached the top 40 then the follow up, Yellow, became one of the biggest hits of the year 2000, Coldplay landed their first UK number 1 album and their success did not stop there! The band made waves in the US, a market which was almost impossible to break for new British rock bands, saw them reach a very respectable #51 position on the album charts and gaining many American fans in the process. The success in the UK was repeated in Norway which became Coldplay’s second recorded number 1 hit worldwide with Australia, New Zealand and Ireland charting their debut album in the top 5.

As Coldplay’s popularity grew even further, sales for Parachutes rised along with it and their US sales reflected the bands growing popularity which reached has reached well over 2 million copies and achieved 2x platinum status. In the UK, platinum status was reached over 7 times with sales over 2 million! These were the reported Coldplay album sales figures from 2006 which have risen even further since announced and Parachutes is believed to have sold 8.5 million copies since its release at the turn of the new millennium

Coldplay album sales : Copies sold of Parachutes (2006)
UK 2,100,000 7xplatinum
Usa 2,000,000 2xplatinum
Canada 200,000 2xplatinum
Europe 2,000,000
Total worldwide sales = est 7 millions. (Reported latest figure, 8.5 million copies worldwide)

First week sales in the UK : 70,935

Single sale figures to date (estimate) : Yellow (US) : 800,000, Yellow (UK) 260,000

Setting a precedent? A Rush of Blood To The Head (2002)

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In 2002, On the back of a very successful debut album, Coldplay were preparing to elevate that success and return with an absolute blockbuster of a 2nd album, A Rush of Blood To The Head. Spearhead single of the album, In My Place became a hit in multiple countries including the UK, Canada and Ireland where the single charted at number 2! Coldplay agonizingly missed out on the number 1 spot in the UK to the Pop Idol runner up at the time, (now known as XFactor) Darius, with debut single Colourblind. That was soon to be forgotten as first week Coldplay sales figures for the new album, debuted at 273,924 sales on the first week! A Rush of Blood To The Head went on to reach the top 5 of all major charts and scored a second consecutive number 1 in the UK and Norway!

The album was critically acclaimed and was given a boost when it won ‘Alternative album of the year’ at the grammys in 2002 followed by Clocks winning the top single gong in 2003. The most successful Coldplay album has gone on to sell over a staggering 15 million copies since release in 2002!

Coldplay album sales : Copies sold of A Rush Of Blood to The Head (estimate to date)
UK 2,800,000+ 9xplatinum
Usa 4,400,000+ 4xplatinum
Canada 400,000+ 4xplatinum
Europe 5,000,000+
Total worldwide sales = est 15 million +

First week sales in the UK : 273,924

Single sale figures to date (estimate) : : The Scientist (US) : 530,000, Clocks (US) : 1,600,000

The hype machine! – X&Y

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Returning from their most successful album worldwide, Coldplay had a huge task ahead of them, one which they were ready to meet with ambition as X&Y was ready to go out in the world. Their first single from their 3rd LP was Speed of Sound which became a huge airplay smash in the UK, became the first single from a British band since The Beatles to reach the top 10 in the US Billboard charts. In the UK, Coldplay had to settle for a 2nd number 2 single as viral phone ringtone, The Crazy frog controversially beat them to the Number 1 spot. The triumphant X&Y went on to top the charts in all major countries around the world, reaching number 1 in the UK and the US. There was another record for Coldplay album sales as X&Y sold a whopping 464,471 copies of X&Y in the UK on the first week, becoming at the time, the 2nd fastest selling record of all time behind Oasis . The top of 5 selling tracks of all time in the UK are listed below with X&Y still in the top 3!

1 1997 Be Here Now by Oasis 763,735
2 2010 Progress by Take That 518,601
3 2005 X&Y by Coldplay 464,471
4 2008 The Circus by Take That 432,490
5 2009 I Dreamed a Dream by Susan Boyle 411,820

Coldplay’s third LP was a huge success and lies with A Rush of Blood To The Head as their two most successful albums, sales wise. X&Y has to date sold around 15 million copies!

Coldplay album sales : Copies sold of X&Y (estimate to date)
UK 2,600,000+ 9xplatinum
Usa 3,100,000+ 3xplatinum
Canada 400,000+ 4xplatinum
Europe 5,500,000+
Total worldwide sales = est 15 million +

First week sales in the UK : 464,471

Single sale figures to date (estimate) : Speed of Sound (US) : 1,200,000 Fix You (UK) 330,000

Viva la revolution?! – Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (2008)

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After another successful album and achieving their first number 1 album in the US, Coldplay had a massive platform to build upon for their fourth album, titled Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends. The change in sound was apparent with new producers such as Brian Eno hired and Phil Harvey back as the bands fifth members. Coldplay started off an era with a bold move which saw first promo single, Violet Hill given away as a free download for a week. Despite this, Coldplay somehow achieved yet another top 10 hit in the UK (Coldplay had never at the time had a single which charted lower than the top 10 until Lost! was released as the third single from the album), despite the album been given away for free! Violet Hill also charted at #40 in the US and top 10 in multiple European countries. The success story of the album was title track, Viva La Vida which could be downloaded at the time as an ‘instant grat’ track for pre-ordering the album. After the album was released, the before chart ineligible, Viva La Vida began to take off across the world, featuring in iTunes adverts then eventually became Coldplay’s first number 1 US Billboard hit along with Coldplay’s first number 1 UK hit, exorcising those chart demons of the past in the form of Darius and The Crazy Frog!

The album itself was huge, like X&Y, Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends reached number 1 worldwide, in even more countries this around! The differences in the music world were quite huge since their last album. The singles market was almost fully digital and download based. The album went on to sell 302,074 copies within 3 days as the album was released on Thursday, had it been released on Monday like previous albums, Coldplay may have broken their own record that was set by X&Y! In the US, the album sold over 700,000 copies in the first week of sales. Coldplay’s fourth album went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide.

First week sales in the UK : 302,074 (3 days)

First week sales in the US : 700,000 +

Single sale figures to date (estimate) : Violet Hill (UK) : 200,000 Viva La Vida (UK) : 550,000 Viva La Vida (US) 4,000,000

Coldplay album sales : Copies sold of Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (estimate to date)
UK 1,400,000+ 4xplatinum
Usa 2,700,000+ 4xplatinum
Canada 334,000+ 3xplatinum

Total worldwide sales = est 10 million +

The colourful evolution?! – Mylo Xyloto (2008)

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The bright and colourful new era arrived within the usual gap of three years before Coldplay’s previous album, Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends. The album was Mylo Xyloto which was announced in August 2011, before the album release in October the same year and after the release of first single, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall which became a moderate hit across the globe in the new on air and release fashion for singles which was now common place in a music market that has been on the decline post-2008 with record sales dwindling. The energetic hit landed a #6 position the UK, #14 in the US and reached at least top 20 in various single charts worldwide. The follow up single, Paradise which was preferred to Charlie Brown which eventually didn’t fare too well charts wise, reached number 1 in the UK, starting off as a slow burner on the charts to eventually blowing up at the start of 2012, with the band appearing on popular show, The Xfactor, a week or two before. Paradise also reached number 1 in Norway, number 15 in the US and top 5 in a host of various countries.

Looking back at the performance on the album, Mylo Xyloto, it was expected to sell less because of the decline in album sales and the much different musical landscape than during their last effort, ‘Viva La Vida…‘ but it didn’t stop Coldplay from the usual record breaking when they smashed the record for most downloaded digital album. The first week was a hit but not an overwhelming one to previous standards, as Coldplay sold 208,090 in the UK to be the 3rd fastest selling album of 2011, behind Lady Gaga and Adele while in the US, they sold 447,000 copies as they topped the Billboard album chart for the third album in a row! Mylo Xyloto has ended up selling over 8 million copies worldwide, mainly as a slow burner on the charts, charting 1 number in practically every country but with a lot of sales built up over time with the delayed success of Paradise and the Mylo Xyloto tour in 2012.

First week sales in the UK : 208,090

First week sales in the US : 447,000

Single sale figures to date (estimate) : Paradise (UK) 903,000

Coldplay album sales : Copies sold of Mylo Xyloto (estimate to date)
UK 1,050,000+ 4xplatinum
Usa 1,600,000+ 3xplatinum

Total worldwide sales = est 8 million +

Back to the present – Ghost Stories (2014)

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So, we look forward to Ghost Stories, the sixth studio album from Coldplay, making an impact in the charts again. Will Ghost Stories be as or even more successful than Mylo Xyloto? or will it be more understated this time around? The change in the sales climate suggests it will struggle to reach the same 200k+ (in the UK) and 440k+ (in the US) figures we saw before. It would be fairer to compare it to other albums at the end of the year to see what artists or bands Coldplay compares to in contrast! Remember, 21 by Adele defied the odds despite being one of the biggest selling albums off all time in such a short period! The producer of that album, Paul Epworth, also produced Ghost Stories funnily enough. The impact we saw when Midnight and A Sky Full of Stars was released is an indicator of how huge the pre-orders for Ghost Stories are so lets be optimistic, if there ever is a band to break records, its Coldplay!

I will leave you with some stats about Magic, A Sky Full of Stars and Midnight with massive thanks to Mackplay on our forums. Credit also goes to various users on Ukmix, Buzzjack, Billboard.com and The UK Official Charts Company for a lot of stats and facts in this article!

Magic :

MAGIC, the first single off Ghost Stories was released on March 3rd 2014.

Worldwide peaks & Certifications
WW iTunes Tracks: 2
US iTunes Tracks: 3
Australia (ARIA): 5 Platinum 35,000
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40): 22
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders): 9
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia): 7
Brazil (Billboard Brasil Hot 100): 57
Brazil Hot Pop Songs: 17
Canada (Canadian Hot 100): 13 Gold 40,000
Chile Singles Chart: 10
Czech Republic (IFPI): 21
Denmark (Tracklisten): 2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista): 7
France (SNEP): 6
Germany (Media Control AG): 8
Greece Digital Songs (Billboard): 5
Hungary (Rádiós Top 40): 37
Hungary (Single Top 20): 7
Ireland (IRMA): 4
Israel (Media Forest): 4
Italy (FIMI): 3 Gold 15,000
Japan (Japan Hot 100): 35
Luxemburg Digital Songs (Billboard): 2
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100): 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ): 10
Norway (VG-lista): 12
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard): 1
Scotland (Official Charts Company): 10
Slovakia (IFPI): 44
Spain (PROMUSICAE): 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan): 31
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade): 6
UK Singles (Official Charts Company): 10
US Billboard Hot 100: 24
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard): 32
US Alternative Songs (Billboard): 7
US Rock Songs (Billboard): 7
Mediatraffic: 9

US sales estimates & Mediatraffic points
Week 01 114K & 176K
Week 02: 52K & 133K
Week 03: 38K & 122K
Week 04: 36K & 122K
Week 05: 35K & 117K
Week 06: 32K & 121K
Week 07: 35K & 126K
Week 08: 36K & 133K
Week 09: 44K & 147K
Week 10: 45K & 140K

Chart Update: As of May 2nd 2014, Magic has sold 876K WW.

US Airplay peak Around 12M

Streaming
YOUTUBE: 26.5M
SPOTIFY: 52M

Midnight

MIDNIGHT, the promo single off Ghost Stories was released on April 19th 2014 on iTunes and with a special vinyl edition for Record Store Day.

Worldwide peaks & Certifications
WW iTunes Tracks: 2
US iTunes Tracks: 2
Australia (ARIA): 25
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 8
Canada (Canadian Hot 100): 27
Denmark Singles Chart: 3
France (SNEP): 5
Hungary (Single Top 20): 3
Italy Singles Chart: 2
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard): 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100): 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ): 11
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard): 1
Spain (Promusicae): 3
Swiss Singles Chart: 20
US Billboard Hot 100: 65
US Billboard Digital Songs: 11
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard): 29
Mediatraffic: 27

US sales estimates & Mediatraffic points
Week 01: 80K & 95K
Week 02: 46K & 72K
Week 03: 26K &

Chart update: As of May 2nd 2014, Midnight has sold 80K in the US and 176K WW

US Airplay peak: 0M

Streaming
YOUTUBE: 14.9M
SPOTIFY:

A Sky Full of Stars :

A SKY FULL OF STARS, the second single off Ghost Stories was released on May 2th 2014.

Worldwide peaks & Certifications
WW iTunes Tracks: 1
US iTunes Tracks: 1
Australia 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 2
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Flanders) 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia) 1
Belgium Dance (Ultratop Wallonia) 31
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 4
Denmark (Tracklisten) 3
Dutch (Mega Top 50) 6
Euro Digital Songs (Billboard) 3
Finland (Suomen virallinen latauslista) 1
Germany (Media Control AG) [b]6[b]
Hungary (Single Top 20) 2
Israel (Media Forest) 9
Italy (FIMI) 1
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100) 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 2
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard) 1
Spain 3
Swiss (Single Charts) 2
US Billboard Hot 100 24
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard) 5

US and Worldwide sales estimates
Week 01: 139K (peak 5 on HDS) & 159K
Week 02: 87K & 170K (peak #7)

US Airplay peak: Around 1M

Streaming
YOUTUBE: 5.8M
SPOTIFY: 4M