Rihanna's 1st album since 2012, Anti, tops US chart

LONG-AWAITED: The Barbados-born singer dwells on matters of the heart in Anti.


    Feb 10, 2016

    Rihanna's 1st album since 2012, Anti, tops US chart


    RIHANNA'S long-awaited album Anti landed at No. 1 on the United States chart on Sunday after an unusual roll-out that included two commercial tie-ups.

    Anti, the first album since 2012 by the Barbados-born superstar, which was released on Jan 27 after apparent delays, headed the Billboard chart for the week through Thursday.

    The album came out initially as an exclusive on Tidal, the streaming service led by rap mogul Jay Z, in a surprise timing on a Wednesday evening, US time, that defied the music industry's guideline of global releases on Friday.

    South Korean electronics giant Samsung also let one million of its smartphone users download Anti for free.

    The arrangement likely cut into Rihanna's sales figures as tracking service Nielsen SoundScan does not count giveaways on the chart, although it does factor in streaming.

    Rihanna signed a promotion deal reportedly worth US$25 million (S$35 million) with Samsung, which set up an interactive website for the album.

    Anti became available on iTunes and other digital retailers on Jan 29 and as a CD a week later.

    Streaming services, which offer unlimited on-demand music, have been rapidly growing and transforming the music industry's marketing strategies.

    But streaming was not the main factor in Rihanna's chart success, with direct purchases on iTunes and other retailers counting for three-quarters of the 166,000 album sales over the past week.

    Anti had opened on the chart a week earlier at No. 27 as it had come out with little more than a day to go in the reporting period and only on Tidal.

    Tidal has heavily promoted exclusives in a bid to challenge Spotify's dominance of streaming and offered free trials to Samsung users who downloaded Anti for free.

    Rihanna has been one of the 21st century's top-selling artists and had been prolific in her output from her 2005 debut until 2012.

    Anti mostly moves away from the R&B and dance tracks for which she became famous, with the 27-year-old instead preferring ballads about romantic tumult.