The release of Rihanna‘s highly anticipated eighth studio album, ANTI, has hit a few snags as the singer and her Roc Nation label/management company try to determine the best way to roll out the album.
Last month, reports surfaced that ANTI was due Nov. 6, which a source debunked to Billboard, and with Justin Bieber‘s Purpose and One Direction‘s Made in the A.M. both arriving Nov. 13 and Adele‘s 25 hitting stores Nov. 20, ANTI now looks like it will be released in December, with a rumored surprise release likely.
Why the holdup? A source tells Billboard that Rihanna has been struggling to pick her next single and canceled several commitments that had been lined up for promotional purposes. Meanwhile, Roc Nation boss Jay Z has been looking into rollout strategies from other successful non-traditional releases, including Beyoncé‘s surprise self-titled LP and his own reported $30 million Samsung partnership for the release of his 2013 album Magna Carta… Holy Grail, which essentially gave his album away to the first million Samsung Galaxy SIII, S4 and Note II phone owners who registered for a custom app.
And while it still hasn’t been confirmed — a source told Billboard last week that it’s in the works, though it hasn’t yet been finalized — Rihanna is reportedly lining up her own Samsung deal to the tune of $25 million for her album and subsequent world tour, which has apparently been held up due to changes to the final LP. There are streaming questions as well; Rihanna was one of the 16 artists announced as a co-owner of TIDAL, while Samsung has its own streaming service, Milk Music.
Rihanna’s been on a roll of late, despite coming up on three years since the release of her last album Unapologetic. She’s had three singles land on the Billboard Hot 100 this year — “Bitch Better Have My Money” (which peaked at No. 15), “American Oxygen” (No. 78) and “FourFiveSeconds” with Paul McCartney and Kanye West (No. 4) — and Unapologetic became the singer’s first-ever No. 1 album in 2012. But with Adele setting records already with “Hello” and 25 on track to move a million copies in its first week without breaking a sweat, the top of the charts are getting crowded as the year winds down.