As for Britney, well she only sold 12 million with BOMT ut she was certified platinum because that album sold really well for a long period of time and a lot of stores overestimated it's sales by ordering an excessive amount of it. So far BOMT has shipped 14 million but sold 12 million w/ 2 million still on shelves.
Actually, it's not exactly this. I mean, you explained very well about SoundScan and BMG Music Club, but as for the BOMT sales and certifications, there just CAN'T be 2 million still on shelves. The album was certified 14X Platinum in July 2004. Before that, it had been 13X Platinum for ages (since 2000, to be more accurate). So, I guess, and I repeat, I'm just guessing, I don't think BOMT sales are far less than 13 million nowadays (unless something like a million copies have simply disappeared), counting the BMG Music Club and all that stuff, 'cause I don't believe they would certify it again after 4 years if new copies hadn't been sent to the stores.
Originally posted by MTV Spears is still everything to everyone (...) The thing about being the first is that there isn't really anything — or anyone — to compete against. So let others sweat the small stuff; Britney's only concerned with being Britney. Now and forever.