Ad-funded free streaming service We7 joined with its media partners and Mercury Music Group U.K. on the first play of the new Rihanna single, "Russian Roulette."

The single went live on the Oxfordshire-based service's streaming site at 4.23pm U.K. time, coordinated with the first global radio plays of the track for U.K., U.S. and worldwide stations.

"We7 is delighted to be hosting the U.K. exclusive online premiere of global superstar Rihanna's last single both on and through numerous media partners via We7 widgets," said Clive Gardiner, SVP digital music of We7, in a statement. "This pioneering promotion clearly shows the benefits of We7 as a 'play button for the internet,' and demonstrates that promotion and exposure on streaming Web sites can work hand in hand with the traditional radio route. As soon as people know about exiting new music they want to be able to play it online - if they can do this legally and immediately, they won't have to look elsewhere; and labels get paid-for promo."

Azi Eftekhari, head of digital, Mercury Music Group, added: "'Russian Roulette'" has been one of the most anticipated singles of the year, and we wanted to get as many people as possible involved in the global first-play at 4.23pm [U.K. time]. The We7 widget was all about marrying up all the excitement online with the incredible support at radio and beyond. It's the first time a streaming service was used in a first-play like this, and by doing this we were able to give websites the chance to have the single play on their sites at the same time as radio."