Rihanna’s ‘Anti’ Sells Less Than 1,000 Copies, Still Debuts at No. 27
UPDATE (2/3): A representative for TIDAL has since reached out to clarify that Anti moved 460 units in 90 minutes, not 24 hours: "...ANTI became available for purchase widely in the US only about 90 minutes before the charts closed...The number of actual US sales, which has not been released, reflected in ANTI’s current Billboard chart position account for about 90 minutes of US sales, not one week."
Rihanna's Anti saw a bumpy arrival late last week, after a major gaffe on streaming site TIDAL caused the long-awaited album to leak prematurely. Despite the early release, the subsequent free download Rihanna offered fans via Twitter (courtesy of Samsung purchasing one million units) and the small time frame, the album's sales still counted toward the week’s tracking period. Thus, Anti still managed to chart on the Billboard 200.
Billboard’s rankings include traditional album sales, track equivalent albums and streams, the combination of which earned Anti a No. 27 spot — her lowest album chart debut ever — on the Billboard 200. This was despite just a full day's worth of sales counting toward the album's final chart position.
But because single sales count toward an album's chart position, it appears that Anti’s Drake-featuring lead single "Work," did the real heavy lifting: The song moved 126,000 units. This, combined with a total 4.7 million streams of Anti's various album tracks, resulted in its ultimate chart number.
Billboard also claims so few copies of Anti were actually sold that its pure album sales charts won’t reflect that number just yet. (Anti reportedly sold 460 copies, according to a report from the New York Times — admittedly paltry sales and Rihanna’s lowest ever, even if they’re only accounting for one day.)
Anti was downloaded 1.47 million times in a 15-hour span (leading the RIAA to declare the album Platinum via Twitter). But because those were part of a free download offer sponsored by Samsung, those specific downloads don't count toward the album’s chart position.
Still, industry experts expect Anti will fare better on next week’s chart, possibly moving up to No. 1 after a full week’s worth of sales. And it’ll be a big deal they're right: If Anti gets the top spot, it’ll be Rihanna’s second No. 1 album, the last of which was for 2012’s Unapologetic.
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