Some crazy things happen when you give your album away for free.
As we reported last week, Rihanna‘s long-awaited ANTI, which finally dropped (to polarizing reception) last Wednesday (Jan. 27, 2016), has already been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Unfortunately for Rihanna, her achievement is somewhat undermined by the fact that Samsung, a sponsor of her upcoming world tour, purchased those copies — all one million of them — and gave them away for free. Do you know who doesn’t count albums given away for free by phone companies? Literally everyone except for the RIAA, including Billboard.
Billboard reports that ANTI debuts at No. 27 on their Album 200 chart, due in large part to streams of “Work,” the album’s first single, and other album tracks made available on TIDAL between Wednesday and Friday. (It also apparently counts only 460 copies of the album sold before the Friday cut-off. If you need a quick math refresher: No. 27 is pretty far away from No. 1, and 460 copies is far, far from platinum.
Meanwhile, the album’s lead single, “Work” (Feat. Drake), debuts at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Does Bad Gal have another No. 1 on her hands? I suppose we’ll see!
Of course, we’re having a bit of fun with the fact that ANTI debuted on an a day that was not a Friday and that it wasn’t available to purchase for more than a day after it was released. Things will look much better for Rihanna next week: with a full week of actual sales (and nearly a full week of being perched atop the iTunes Albums Chart), she is likely to score her second No. 1 album after all. Still. 460 copies. Damn.