Rihanna may be keeping mum regarding an official release date for her highly anticipated Anti album, but it looks like Rihanna is leaving it up to fans to decipher the clues surrounding her eighth studio album’s mysterious promotional campaign.
Last month, Rihanna unveiled a new website dedicated to Anti‘s impending release, titled ANTIdiaRy, via her promotional collaboration with Samsung. The site, which can only be accessed via a mobile device, features eight locked rooms with various titles such as “Studio” and “Bedroom” where fans can interact with hidden clues in each room to decipher mysterious messages surrounding Rihanna’s Anti release.
While rumors regarding a tentative release date for Anti suggested that Rihanna’s album would see a Black Friday release on Jay Z’s TIDAL streaming service and a retail release on December 4, no news nor music has been announced from either Rihanna or her record label.
Rather, Rihanna took to Instagram yesterday to announce that the third room for her ANTIdiaRy, known on Twitter and Instagram as #R3, has been unlocked for mobile users.
While some fans took to Twitter to express their frustration with Rihanna for neglecting to offer any more information regarding Anti, other fans began speculating that Rihanna may not drop the project until January.
Since initially teasing ANTIdiaRy during the American Music Awards last month Rihanna has unlocked one room per week on the interactive site, leading fans to believe that Anti could see an early 2016 release after all eight rooms have been unlocked.
“If Rihanna opens one room per week, #R8 will be on the 8th of January #ANTIdiaRy,” one fan explains, referencing the previously speculated title for Rihanna’s eighth album.
Despite the lack of news regarding Anti‘s release, Rihanna has reportedly begun teasing new clues via her ANTIdiaRy experience.
According to several Rihanna fan pages on Twitter, Rihanna has reportedly begun sending out locked boxes containing clues about her new album to fans in the U.S.
— :) (@keithington) December 4, 2015
In addition, an unidentified user known only as “The Key Holder” has been teasing fans with the location of several mysterious boxes dedicated to Rihanna’s ANTIdiaRy experience on Twitter and Instagram. One fan site, Rihanna Daily, has been documenting the process of fans receiving, unlocking, and analyzing the various clues provided by Rihanna’s locked boxes.
Currently, there’s no official word yet as to what is actually contained in the boxes that Rihanna has set up in locations like Boston, Chicago, and Dallas, although one fan did report seeing a camera crew being set up around one of the box locations.
While it appears fans will have to wait for further instructions on how to decipher Rihanna’s clues about Anti, the delay in releasing her new album alongside her mystery-filled promotional campaign doesn’t seem to be hurting Rihanna’s reputation with fans.
The Fader recently spoke with Benjamin Cockerell, director of global marketing at Crimson Hexagon, who explains that despite the backlash on social media surrounding Rihanna and Samsung’s Anti campaign, the delay in releasing the album isn’t having an adverse effect on Rihanna.
“Looking at the social conversation surrounding ANTI and Rihanna, we can see that any mystery surrounding the album release date has not stopped fans from expressing their loyalty, excitement and importantly, buying tickets for the ANTI World Tour,” Cockerell explains.
In addition, Cockerell notes that the conversation surrounding Rihanna’s album has actually been more positive than negative, with posts regarding Anti‘s release showing a “33 percent positive, 66 percent neural and just 1 percent negative” reaction from fans.
The news comes just one day after Forbes released a report that shows the average ticket price for Rihanna’s ANTI World Tour presale coming in at $227 despite having not actually released her album prior to the presale.
What do you think of Rihanna’s mysterious ANTIdiaRy campaign, will we see a release in January?
[Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]