Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ Album Sold Less Than 1,000 Copies — But It’s Still a Huge Success

Rihanna
Rihanna JB Lacroix/WireImage

Work! Rihanna’s much-anticipated, much-delayed Anti album dropped late Wednesday, January 27, and only managed to sell less than 1,000 copies during its first week — but the superstar is still banking off the album. 

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According to the New York Times, the Recording Industry Association of America certified Anti as a platinum release within 14 hours — because Samsung offered 1 million free album downloads to fans. Rihanna has a $25 million deal with Samsung, and the electronics company, which helped promote her album prior to its release, is also funding her upcoming tour.

Among music streaming services, Anti was initially only available via Tidal — of which, The Atlantic points out, Rihanna is a co-owner. Those who downloaded the album via Samsung’s free link had to sign up for Tidal and are now potentially paying subscribers. 

Rihanna’s eighth studio album only became available via iTunes on Friday (two days after its release), and Spotify has yet to receive the album. According to the Times, the Tidal exclusive could be to blame for the low numbers, but industry executives predict that Anti could sell up to 130,000 copies in its second week.

Despite this somewhat confusing rollout, the record, which features collaborations with Drake and SZA, now holds the record for the fastest album to be certified platinum.

“This is the new model,” Grace Kim, Tidal’s director of marketing, told Spin. “The new model is about how many fans are we getting the music to. Soon enough, everyone else will have to come along for the ride. We believe this is just the beginning of how we market albums, how we distribute music to fans, how fans consume music. It’s a different way of thinking.”

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