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Tidal bosses blame 'system error' for Rihanna's album leak

A "system error" was to blame for the accidental leak of Rihanna's new album, Anti, on Tidal on Wednesday night (27Jan16), according to a representative for the streaming service.

The tracklisting of the star's highly-anticipated new album and snippets of tracks appeared on Jay Z's website two days before its proposed release on Friday (29Jan16). It was temporarily removed, and then put back online, allowing fans to download and stream the new album after Rihanna decided to release it for download early.

Speaking to Vulture, a representative for the music streaming service, which Jay Z snapped up in 2014, blamed technical faults for the leak: "Look, we know what happened here, in the sense that unfortunately we still rely on systems, and there was a system error," the spokesman said, "but I don’t think it hurt it at all."

The decision by Rihanna to distribute the album for free meant that 1.4 million fans downloaded it in just 15 hours. However, none of the free downloads will count towards Rihanna's position on the Billboard chart.

"There were conversations (with Billboard) early on when this promotion and partnership started, but ultimately it became about giving music directly to the fans," the rep continued. "While everyone would’ve loved to have it count, the thing that we’re focused on here is that it’s number one."

Along with Tidal, the Umbrella hitmaker also struck a deal with Samsung, allowing a limited number of free downloads of her new album through a corporate deal with the electronics company.

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