Rihanna (Or More Specifically Samsung) Bought ‘ANTI’ A Platinum Certification

Mike Wass | January 29, 2016 5:53 pm
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RIAA triggered a social media furor earlier today (January 29) when they announced that Rihanna’s ANTI had been certified platinum for selling one million copies. The superstar was quick to jump on the news, tweeting heartfelt thanks to her fans. Only The Navy didn’t purchase a single copy. Instead, they were snapped up by Samsung as part of their $25 million sponsorship deal and given away for free on Tidal.

Of course, Rihanna isn’t the first artist to finagle a platinum record. Jay Z inked a similar deal with Samsung to give away a million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail to Galaxy smartphone users, while Lady Gaga teamed up with Amazon.com to sell Born This Way for a paltry 99 cents. (The latter situation would now be deemed chart ineligible). It’s a grey area that causes considerable anxiety within the music industry. “There are some trends that we just won’t touch,” Billboard tweeted this morning.

I’m all for innovative album rollouts and out-of-the-box marketing, but this situation makes a mockery of artists trying to sell albums to actual consumers. Meghan Trainor, for example, released four hit singles and promoted Title for a full year to get her platinum certification. Rihanna’s manager simply picked up the phone. It’s doubly frustrating because she didn’t need the help. ANTI is number one on iTunes. Fans are obviously willing to pay for it.

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