Will Rihanna’s ‘ANTI’ Samsung Promotion Count for Billboard?
Rihanna is set to release her much-hyped album ANTI...at some point in the near future. It was first supposedly set for release on November 20—the same day as Adele's 25, which HITS Daily Double claims began her record label's scramble to choose a new release date. Then a mysterious Instagram post from producer Glass John sparked rumors of a new November 6 release date. Projected/rumored release dates now place it at either 12/4 or 12/11.
But if this wasn't enough drama for the ANTI campaign, HITS Daily Double reports that Samsung's planned giveaway of the album—an attempt to avoid a complete chart takeover by Adele—has hit a major roadblock. The question now is how the $25 million dollar deal/giveaway will count toward the Billboard chart.
Billboard has apparently issued a new, problematic ruling on the matter: They'll count Samsung's free offer if, and only if, the promotion can be redeemed for any album, rather than just ANTI. The decision also stipulates that, despite all of the Rihanna-specific marketing around the promotion, "the coupon must feature type big enough to make it clear that consumers have a choice of album."
While Billboard's ruling is an earnest attempt to ensure fairness on the charts, it's a huge blow to the already-shaky ANTI album campaign. HITS Daily Double reports that tensions have mounted between Roc Nation (both Rihanna's label and her management team) and Billboard over exactly "how to execute the promotion."
As a result of these tensions and the countless other pressures facing/surrounding ANTI, label reps have reportedly begun to wonder if a 2016 release date would be the best possible option at this point — especially if Rihanna isn't feeling comfortable with the album artistically speaking, which her father Ronald Fenty reportedly told The Sun in a recent exclusive interview.
Rihanna has proven to be a resilient artist over the years, so hopefully she (and her brand) can rise above the pressures to deliver the kind of release fans have been anxiously waiting for.
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