Rihanna‘s ‘ANTI’ era may have got off to a rocky start, but the project has finally found its footing.
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In a monumental development, the LP has just cleared the 100 week mark on the Billboard 200 – becoming RiRi’s longest reign with an album on the tally.
The achievement helps erase some of the many missteps that plagued the project early in its cycle.
Released in January 2016 (after months of delays and endless “lead” singles), the LP was an immediate source of controversy.
For, it arrived as part of a Samsung deal that saw the tech giant “buy” a million copies and redistribute them for “free” as part of a promotion that somehow earned Ms. Fenty a Platinum plaque.
Complicating matters, Nielsen Soundscan refused to recognize those “sales” – thus leaving ‘ANTI’ to open at #27 based on what was actually “sold.”
The album would go on to rebound the following week, hitting #1 based on 166,000 sold units (124,000 of which were pure sales).
And while it’s never enjoyed a blockbuster run as a body of work, the industry’s new streaming rules are proving particularly advantageous for the album. For, now that singles count towards an LP’s “sales,” the success of hits such as ‘Work,’ ‘Needed Me,’ and ‘Love On The Brain’ have helped elongate ‘ANTI’s presence on the Billboard 200.
To date (excluding the free Samsung units), the project has sold 603,000 physical copies in the US and 1,966,000 with streaming factored in.