Dealmaking in the music business is hardly new, and trading in celebrity profile is as much a part of money making in music as it is to cashing in on that record deal. Rihanna is setting a new benchmark with brand partnerships, having inked a $25 million deal with Samsung as the official sponsor for her upcoming album and tour for ‘Anti’.
Samsung previously cut a $5 million cheque as part of a major marketing deal with Roc Nation in 2013, for Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ album release, which permitted Samsung to make a 1 million copies of the album available to be downloaded for free on the their Galaxy SIII. Earlier this year Rita Ora another Roc Nation signee became the face of the Galaxy S6 advertising campaign. The tabloid and tech press had reported sightings of Jay-Z at the Samsung offices earlier this year, fueling speculation about Tidal, but it now turns out was part of the 7 month negotiation for the deal to be locked in for ‘Anti’.
With the rise and rise of multi-million dollar global deals of the magnitude that both Samsung have inked with Rihanna and Apple reportedly made with Drake for $19 million, the business of music is becoming incredibly lucrative in more ways than one. If streaming doesn’t pay well, brands certainly will.
Rihanna has hardly been short of endorsement deals and thats no surprise considering her status as the third act in history tied with Michael Jackson to clock 13 number 1 hits behind Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Ironically it was the King of Pop who set the standard, when Michael Jackson made marketing history with his first U.S sponsorship deal with Pepsi in 1984 for $3 million for ‘Thriller’.
Rihanna may need all the helps she can get right now to up the ‘Anti’ in a year that hasn’t quite delivered a slew of U.S chart hits for her, with ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ (15), ‘American Oxygen’ (78) and ‘FourFiveSeconds’ (4), and the official U.K chart positions below closely mirroring the U.S chart story;
Rihanna has recorded seven albums in eight years up until 2012, but with a 3 year hiatus since a full-length album, the launch of ‘Anti’, and the accompanying tour will need the massive Samsung marketing machine behind it. In contrast, Adele will break every chart record in the business this week, and she’ll do so without making her music available to be streamed on any music streaming service and while still resisting the lure of a giant endorsement deal.
Rihanna’s celebrity profile is undeniably one of the biggest globally and her influence could see Samsung still reaping major rewards for their Galaxy line of products but the question still remains – can Rihanna reap the rewards in the music charts.
Rihanna revealed the first room of her ANTIdiaRy mobile experience this weekend together with the new commercial released during the AMA’s.
Rumours are now circulating that, ‘ANTI’ may premiere on Tidal exclusively for one week from Black Friday, 27th November and will then be widely available from the following week the 4th of December, Undoubtedly Adele’s record breaking reign may continue for a few weeks possibly going through till Xmas, so a No.1 album for Rihanna is far from guaranteed.