Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ hits 1 million downloads in 14 hours; physical release to come
Rihanna’s new album, “Anti,” hasn’t been out for 24 hours and it’s already been downloaded 1 million times.
Exclusively released late Wednesday to the fledgling music service Tidal — which the pop star co-owns with Jay Z and other musicians including Madonna, Usher and Beyonce — the album was also streamed 14 million times in the 14 hours since its release.
“Anti” will be available for purchase digitally on Friday through iTunes and Tidal.
A deluxe edition of the album, featuring three additional tracks, will be available on Friday and a physical release is forthcoming, a rep for the singer confirmed to The Times on Thursday.
Before it was officially released late Wednesday, the album surfaced on Tidal ahead of what was originally intended as a midnight surprise. Technical glitch aside, Rihanna dominated the conversation Wednesday with a whirlwind that included a surprise single release and the arrival of the long-awaited album.
First, after weeks of speculation about a planned collaboration with Drake called “Work,” Rihanna dropped the Caribbean-tinged track to Tidal right as it was debuted by BBC Radio 1 disc jockey J. Scott Mills (it was available on iTunes less than an hour after).
“Work” shot to No. 1 in 91 countries and was the most heard song on the more than 1,200 stations monitored by Nielsen Music for the Billboard Hot 100.
Hours after “Work” was released, fans took to social media to point out that the streaming service posted the full album and track list without warning. By nightfall, the album had reappeared on Tidal’s site.
The album’s initial free release was through the singer’s partnership with Samsung, which signed Rihanna to a reportedly multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal.
Rihanna worked with the tech giant to create an immersive mobile experience called the ANTIdiary, where users explored multiple rooms that traced the pop star’s life story.
The collaboration between the singer and Samsung throughout ANTIdiaRy culminated in the gift of download codes for fans, all of which have been depleted. Fans who scored a free download of the album from Samsung were also gifted with a free two-month membership to Tidal.
Samsung and Roc Nation, which distributed “Anti” through Rihanna’s own Wetbury Road imprint, are no strangers to innovative partnerships. In 2013 Samsung signed a $5-million marketing deal with Jay Z and Roc Nation for his last album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Under the deal the rapper-mogul provided Samsung with 1 million copies of the album to be downloaded on one of its devices.
For more music news, musings on Beyonce and pictures of food and cats follow me on Twitter: @gerrickkennedy
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