Sources say the long-awaited Rihanna album, ANTI (Roc Nation), will make its debut on Jay Z’s Tidal service on 11/27 and go wide at e-tail and retail the following week (12/4). The latter date will mean her full-scale sales bow coincides with that of Coldplay—and comes two weeks after Adele.
Could Rihanna’s first sales week be a battle for #2 with Chris Martin and company? Will her exclusive week at Tidal—which she supported in its star-studded, highly criticized rollout—prompt negative repercussions from other online services? And what role will that $25m Samsung deal play, if any, in the RiRi rollout?
Rihanna, whose past successes have been driven by big hit singles, has come up short in that department with her latest batch, “Bitch Better Have My Money,” “American Oxygen” and “FourFiveSeconds.”
The long wait for ANTI amplified speculation about the record, which spilled over when her father told U.K. tabloid The Sun that the superstar wasn’t “comfortable” with it.
Meanwhile, her unusual status as a major act with one company as both management and label has added to the level of uncertainty surrounding the plan.
Still, RiRi’s undeniable star power, cultural relevance and impact as a touring force all suggest she may well exceed expectations.
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