A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy

Certified Sales And Reach

I’m digging the data that comes from Stream N Destroy.

Based on RIAA certifications (total album units certified by the RIAA) Iron Maiden has 6.5 million sales in the US.

Megadeth and Tesla are also sitting at the same certification amount across their catalogue.

Who do you reckon has the biggest audience when it comes to playing live from the 3 bands?

Which tells me that Iron Maiden must be the most heavily pirated band there is. Their sales of recorded music compared to their sales of concert tickets and merchandise just don’t correlate. They get the same attendance as Metallica would get, yet the difference in certified album units between the bands is huge.

Metallica is at 63 million certified units.

While Megadeth and Tesla do play live, the crowds they get compared to Maiden are very different but they have the same amount of certified album sales.

So sales of recorded music does not correlate to massive concert attendances.

David Lee Roth, Muse and Dokken are sitting at 3.5M certified units but Muse plays gigs to 15,000 people and are headliners for certain European summer festivals.

Dokken even at their height didn’t play venues that big nor did David Lee Roth as a solo artist.

Like with Maiden, the sales of certified units don’t correlate with the concert attendances.

Since the sales don’t correlate to the increased demand for concert tickets, is it illegal downloading or the access to music via streaming driving the growth?


7 thoughts on “Certified Sales And Reach

  1. That’s amazing that Maiden has only sold 6.5 albums in the U.S. Goes to show you what touring can do and as you said pirating as well.
    Maiden though thanks to Smallwood as well made a ton of dough in merchandise. Smart thinking. When I saw Maiden last year T shirts were going for 55 Canadian. So I bought 2!

  2. Indeed, Iron Maiden and Metallica are comparable when it comes to sales vs. attendances.

    And yes, I would not put Muse and DLR into the same basket. The latter made his career solely during album sales era, whereas Muse benefits also from streaming when gaining new audience and selling out huge venues. That is, Muse is much bigger than RIAA figures indicate.

    Also, what can we say about relatively modest figures of, say, Dio or The Cult or Faith No More versus Ted Nugent 14 M units or Stone Temple Pilots 17.5 M units?

    I knew STM was popular but thought their heyday was rather shot = not so many albums. And vice versa, acknowledged Ted Nugent has had a looooong career but always though he shifted much less. Kudos to Ted.

    • They are a machine that keeps getting w whole new generation listening. I suppose that’s the beauty of the band, there music is timeless and not tied to any era. Highway to Hell still sounds fresh today as it did back in 79.

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