Despite a minor glitch in the roll out of its release, there looks to be no stopping Rihanna’s latest album, ANTI.
The Barbadian bad gal’s long-awaited eighth album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after only 15 hours of being available to fans.
Released exclusively for the first week through Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service, of which she is a co-owner, the album was accidentally leaked a day early and thus far has been bought and downloaded almost 1.5 million times. According to Grace Kim, who serves as Tidal’s director of marketing, the premature release of the album didn’t hinder the album’s impact.
“When we started this campaign, we expected this to take a week,” Kim told SPIN magazine. “That’s a really big deal for us. We know what happened here, in the sense that unfortunately we still rely on systems, and there was a system error. But I don’t think it hurt it at all.”
Unfortunately for RiRi, impressive numbers aside, both Billboard and Soundscan won’t be counting the album’s warm reception on Tidal on their well respected charts.
“There were conversations [with Billboard] early on when this promotion and partnership (with Samsung) started, but ultimately it became about giving music directly to the fans,” Kim added. “While everyone would’ve love to have it count, the thing that we’re focused on here is that it’s No. 1.”
Rihanna’s mentor Jay Z went through a similar situation with Billboard and Soundscan’s hesitancy to recognize his instant RIAA platinum status in 2013 when he struck deal with Samsung to release his Magana Carta…Holy Grail album exclusively to Samsung users via a special app before making it available via traditional outlets.
MCHG still managed to sell 528K in its first week of widespread release to be officially credited by Billboard and Soundscan anyway, which is the end result that Rihanna’s camp is banking on to happen this time.