Industry insiders worry cutting out other streaming services will have an adverse affect.


Rihanna might want to re-think her release strategy with TIDAL.

It’s rumored Rihanna will surprise-drop her upcoming album ANTi this Friday exclusively on JAY Z’s streaming service TIDAL, which she co-owns along with Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Chris Martin and more, but industry insiders predict this won’t bode well for her. The plan is to share the album world-wide a week later on competitors like Spotify and Apple Music, but that kills the buzz.

Billboard provides an eerie example of this tactic Rihanna employed earlier this year with “American Oxygen,” which she released exclusively via TIDAL first before sharing it with other streaming services. They report: “In its first week, the song received 142,000 U.S. streams from Tidal, dropping to 71,000 in week two, according to Nielsen Music. In that second week, streams from Spotify and YouTube counted more than one million apiece, with 79,000 coming from other services in the U.S. That gave Spotify and YouTube a 96.7 percent share of total streams over the period.”

Madonna released “***** I’m Madonna” exclusively on TIDAL a day ahead of its world-wide release, however Spotify and YouTube accounted for 98 percent of the song’s total first-week streams.

Spotify and YouTube have become so key in music streaming that Rihanna cutting them out for an entire week will adversely affect her album charting. She may opt to release the song exclusively with Samsung, who’s funding her album promotion and tour, however she’ll face similar problems.

Combine this with the general confusion surrounding her entire ANTi era (re: why announce a world tour ahead of a single?) and competition against Adele’s 25 and Justin Bieber’s Purpose records, and The Navy has a scary week to look forward to.

Thoughts? Let us know in Exhale!